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by MAFF in its response to the Eighth report from the Agriculture Select Committee, Session 199899 on sea fishing. 
Mr. Morley: I have been pleased to provide the Agriculture Select Committee on a number of occasions with updates to the Government response to the Committee's 1999 Report on Sea Fishing. Most recently, I provided oral evidence to the Committee on 9 May 2001 on issues covered in the report. The transcript of this evidence has been published in the Agriculture Committee, Session 200001, Sea Fishing, (HC 404).
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress her Department made towards establishing a long-term sea fishing strategy for (a) the United Kingdom and (b) England. 
Mr. Morley: The sea fish industry itself must be fully involved in the establishment of a long-term strategy; and I therefore welcome the work which is being undertaken by the Fish Industry Forum to contribute towards a strategy. It will also be necessary to take account of the results of the current review of the Common Fisheries Policy due for completion by the end of next year.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the budget requirements of sea fisheries committees which seek to fulfil their full range of statutory duties. 
Mr. Morley: The sea fisheries committees are funded by their sponsoring local authorities which nominate half the membership of each committee. The need for additional budgetary provision is a matter for each committee and its local authority membership.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her counterparts in the (a) Scottish Executive and (b) Welsh Assembly with regard to (i) temporary tie-up schemes for fishing boats engaged in the hunt for pressure stock, (ii) the future of decommissioning schemes, (iii) the future of the European Common Fisheries policy, (iv) the allocation of total allowable catches and (v) controls on the landing of black fish. 
Mr. Morley: This Department has regular contact with the other Fisheries Departments in the UK, both at ministerial and official level, on a wide range of fisheries issues including those cited by the hon. Member.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with colleagues in other Government Departments on (a) the level of illegal meat imports to the UK and (b) the effectiveness of controls and enforcement measures at (i) ports, (ii) airports and (iii) elsewhere to tackle illegal meat imports; and what assessment she has made of the need for further action. 
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Government. In line with the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information details of such confidential discussions are not normally disclosed.
Departmental officials are leading an interdepartmental review aimed at co-ordinating action across Government to ensure that rules on imports of all products of animal origin are enforced effectively and efficiently. In carrying out this task they meet regularly with colleagues in other Government Departments and responsible enforcement authorities.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what her estimates are for the total landings of blackfish in (a) Scotland, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) Wales, (d) England and (e) the UK in each of the last 10 years for which records are available, by (i) gross tonnage and (ii) value; 
Mr. Morley: As explained in the answer to the hon. Member on 20 July 2001, Official Report, column 626W, this Department does not make estimates of the levels of blackfish. The landing of undeclared fish is an illegal activity and meaningful estimates of the extent to which it occurs cannot readily be made.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the bids for funding submitted under round three of the Agricultural Development Scheme, broken down by region, stating the value of each bid. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 28 November 2001]: We regard bids for competitive grant schemes such as the Agriculture Development Scheme as commercially confidential. As for previous rounds of the Agriculture Development Scheme, we shall publish a list of the successful bids when we announce the outcome next year.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 23 November 2001, Official Report, column 514W, on scientific research, what quality assessment is undertaken by her Department into the work of contractors, and through them sub-contractors, commissioned by her Department. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 29 November 2001]: In deciding whether to let contracts, one of the aspects considered by scientists in the Department is the need for suitable and relevant quality assurance in relation to the project or projects proposed. As indicated in the reply of 23 November 2001, Official Report, column 514W, the need for contractors and their sub-contractors to meet quality standards schemes appropriate to the science projects is evaluated. However, there are substantial and wider aspects to assessing and assuring the quality of science we commission. Chief among these are the processes of prior peer review, by national and international
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experts in the field, of many proposals put to us; the advice of independent expert committees and advisory bodies; the work of interdepartmental committees; the detailed departmental monitoring of all science projects in progress, including formal review on their quality, progress, outputs and direction; and the growing programme of ex post facto evaluations of the impact of programmes of work. In monitoring and evaluation, the Department is again assisted by external and independent scientific input. Finally, the overall scientific quality of the work of most of our individual contractorssuch as our own agencies, the institutes of the Research Councils and the universitiesis assisted by independently run science audits or the audits provided through processes such as the DfES Research Assessment Exercise.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the policy of managed retreat in maintaining coastal flood defences during the winter months. 
Mr. Morley: Managed realignment (occasionally referred to as managed retreat) is one of the options which operating authorities are encouraged to consider when considering long-term options for coastal defence. It is only appropriate in specific circumstances where people or major assets are not at risk. In such circumstances it can have a range of benefits including the achievement of more secure and sustainable defences and the creation of additional areas of inter-tidal habitats. No specific study has been made since only a small number of sites for the implementation of managed realignment has been identified.
The Department has recently approved grant for a major realignment scheme on the Humber where land has been purchased by the Environment Agency to create compensatory inter-tidal habitat for areas that will be lost due to flood defence works elsewhere in the estuary. A series of major studies are continuing to establish the possibility of realignment of defences at other sites in the Humber to relieve the pressures on flood defences that will increase as sea levels rise. Further managed realignment schemes are currently planned for the Wash, Norfolk and in Essex.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the total unallocated funds within her departmental expenditure limit (a) at the start of the financial year and (b) to date; and what was the month seven forecast on outturn underspend against her departmental expenditure limit in (i) real and (ii) percentage terms. 
Mr. Morley: The former Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food Departmental Annual Report for 200001 (Cm5113) contains the Departmental Unallocated Provision (DUP) set for the present financial year in Table 6.1 of Annex 1. The creation of DEFRA did not alter this figure, although £7.308 million was transferred directly to the Food Standards Agency from the DUP at the time of the Summer Supplementary Estimate. There has been no draw-down of the Department's remaining DUP to date.
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Outturn against a six-month forecast for each Request for Resources will be published in the Winter Supplementary Estimates Summary Request for Supply as usual.
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