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Tuesday, 4 May 1971

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Details of subsidy payments in the United

Kingdom for 1969-70 were as follows: -

(a)   Operational subsidies in the white fish and herring subsidy schemes were paid on the basis of either an allowance per day at sea or on the quantity of fish landed. Fishing vessels that qualified for a per day at sea subsidy were: -

(i)   white fish vessels of 35 feet to 59.9 feet in length which received a subsidy payment totalling £250 sterling or over in the base year 1968;

(ii)   white fish vessels of 60 feet to 79.9 feet;

(iii)   herring vessels of 35 feet to 39.9 feet which received £250 sterling or over in subsidy in 1968;

(iv)   all other herring vessels of 40 feet or over.

For the period 1 August 1969 to 31 July 1970, the per day at sea subsidy varied between £3.10.0 sterling to £5.16.0 sterling. Vessels under 35 feet and white fish and herring vessels other than (i) and (iii) above were paid a subsidy on the basis of fish landed. The subsidy rate varied between 2} pence and 11 pence per stone (14lb.)

(b)   Grants are provided for the purchase of fishing vessels or the improvement of existing vessels. During 1970, grants at the rate of forty per cent of the costs were provided for vessels under 80 feet in length and 35 per cent for other vessels.

(c)   The Shipbuilding Act 1967 guarantees loans for all types of vessels over 100 gross tons built in United Kingdom shipyards. These are up to 55 per cent of approved contract values for fishing vessels. Provision also exists for loans for smaller fishing vessels from the White Fish Authority and the Herring Industry Board.

(3)   In Japan, financial assistance to the fishing industry is complex and comprehensive. Provision exists for subsidies for the improvement and development of coastal fishing grounds, subsidies to expedite the modernisation of coastal fisheries management, guaranteed loans and subsidies for the establishment of various distribution installations. More information on these schemes is available in a report recently released (Paris, 1971) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on financial support to the fishing industry by member countries.

(4)   Direct subsidies are not paid to fishermen in Australia. The Government has preferred to assist the industry by making available funds for exploratory survey and research projects, and providing an extension service for the benefit of the different sectors of the industry. The shipbuilding subsidy is designed to assist the Australian shipbuilding industry but is limited to boats of 200 gross tons and over. Only in one instance has the Australian fishing industry been able to take advantage of such assistance.

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