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Lords examines Fisheries Bill at third reading

2 July 2020

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The Fisheries Bill  completed its third reading, a final chance to check the bill will be workable as law, in the Lords on Wednesday 1 July

Members discussed the progress of the bill through the House at its conclusion of Lords stages.

Following completion of third reading, the bill now passes to the Commons for its consideration.

Lords report stage day two: Wednesday 24 June

Members discussed a range of topics and proposed changes to the bill a national landing requirement, the inclusion of boats 10 metres or less into the fishing industry and remote electronic monitoring on overseas vessels fishing in UK waters.

There were three divisions (votes) on proposed changes (amendments) to the bill. All three concerned the insertion of a new clause into the bill.

A change was put forward (amendment 22) on a new national landing requirement to ensure a minimum percentage of fish caught by both domestic and foreign fishing vessels in UK waters is landed at a UK, Isle of Man, Guernsey or Jersey port.

Members voted 281 in favour and 263 against, so the change was made.

A second vote took place on change (amendment 29) requiring the Secretary of State to set minimum quota for new entrants to the sector and boats whose length is 10 metres or less, and to consider the case for increasing this quota each year and report to Parliament.

Members voted 291 in favour and 249 against, so the change was made.

A third vote took place on a change (amendment 52) proposing the use of remote electronic monitoring (REM) on all fishing vessels above 10 metres in length that fish in UK waters and requires plans to be published to extend REM to all vessels.

Members voted 289 in favour and 230 against, so the change was made.

Lords report stage day one: Monday 22 June

Members discussed a range of subjects including sustaining the fishing industry workforce, fisheries management plans and how fishing and aquaculture activities contribute to communities around the UK.

There was one division (vote) on a proposed amendment (change) to the bill.

The change concerned the insertion of a new provision regarding the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture activities, in particular that:

  • the 'sustainability objective' is to ensure such activities do not compromise environmental sustainability
  • fishing fleets must be managed to achieve economic, social and employment benefits, contribute to the availability of food supplies and have economically viable fishing capacity that does not overexploit marine stocks
  • sustainability is the prime fisheries objective.

310 members voted in favour of this amendment, with 251 against, and so the change was made.

Lords committee stage day four: Wednesday 11 March

Members discussed subjects including:

  • the discard of prevention charging schemes
  • financial assistance to recompense vessel owners and crews for reduced or ceased fishing opportunities
  • Marine Management Organisation funding
  • the introduction of remote electronic monitoring on all vessels fishing in British water.

Lords committee stage day three: Monday 9 March

Members discussed the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee Report on the bill and a range of subjects, including:

  • the requirement for monitoring equipment and cameras on fishing vessels
  • the patrolling of British waters and enforcement of fishing licences
  • negotiations on fishing opportunities previously governed by the Common Fisheries Policy.

Lords committee stage day four: Wednesday 11 March

Members are expected to discuss subjects including:

  • the discard of regulatory enforcement schemes
  • financial assistance to recompense vessel owners and crews for reduced or ceased fishing opportunities
  • Marine Management Organisation funding
  • the introduction of remote electronic monitoring on all vessels fishing in British water.

Lords committee stage day two: Wednesday 4 March

Members discussed a range of topics, including:

  • UK fishing industry workforce
  • sustainability of fish stocks
  • licences and national landing requirement
  • UK-EU fisheries negotiations
  • government, devolved administration and industry collaboration
  • financial assistance and sustainability.

Lords committee stage day one: Monday 2 March

Members discussed subjects including:

  • the possession of fish stocks in the UK Exclusive Economic Zone
  • improving the environment performance of fishing ports and decarbonising aquaculture activities
  • the legal duty on public authorities to achieve fisheries objectives.

Lords second reading: Tuesday 11 February

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Conservative), Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, opened the debate on the bill and responded on behalf of the government.

Fisheries Bill summary

This bill aims to:

  • provide the legal framework for the UK to operate as an independent coastal state after the UK has left the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
  • require that foreign fishing in UK waters is licensed
  • protect the UK's marine environment by extending the powers of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Scottish and Welsh ministers.

Further information

Image: Creative Commons