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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1452


Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Minister for Primary Industry noted the apparent concessions that Britain has made in regard to the disputed Icelandic fishing waters? Does he see prospects of Australia emulating Iceland and pegging the catches of foreign fishing fleets operating adjacent to the Australian continent? Does the Minister feel that the conference on the law of the sea scheduled to be held early in 1974 in Chile will be in that venue, in view of the Santiago political turbulence?


Senator WRIEDT - I have seen reference to the agreement that has been reached between Britain and Iceland, although I have no knowledge of the details of the agreement. Insofar as Australia's position in concerned under present international law, we have no jurisdiction outside the 12-mile limit which is the declared fishing zone. The Australian Government has indicated that at the forthcoming conference on the law of the sea, to which Senator Mulvihill has referred, we will be pressing for a 200-mile fishing zone in Australian waters. As I understand it, that conference was to be held in Santiago, but I believe that in view of the problems that have arisen in Chile the offer to hold the conference there has now been withdrawn. I do not know where the conference is to be held. Until such time as it is held, the points that have been raised about Australia's position in. respect of international agreements cannot be clarified.







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