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28 Jan 2004 : Column 387Wcontinued
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action the Government are taking to secure compensation for British farmers who suffered loss as a result of the action of the French Government in continuing to ban British beef following the breach of the European Court of Justice ruling of December 2001; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Bradshaw [holding answer 27 January 2004]: The Government cannot claim compensation because they have no direct commercial interest. Those parties who were directly affected by the illegal French ban must decide for themselves whether to seek such compensation for losses.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much space, expressed in square metres, the Department occupies for the offices of civil servants in (a) central London and (b) Greater London. 
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Alun Michael: Defra's total office space for its civil servants in central London is 63,045.35 square metres with an additional 98.41 square metres in outer London, giving a total for Greater London of 63,143.76 square metres.
Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many states in the EU have applied for the National Plan option under the Large Combustion Plant Directive. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what conclusions have been drawn by her Department on (a) commissioning the services of contractors during animal health emergencies and (b) the keeping and auditing of accounts; and what advice she will give to contractors who may be requested to supply goods or services to her Department in a future emergency. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The conclusions that have been drawn by the Department on (a) commissioning the services of contractors during animal health emergencies and (b) the keeping and auditing of accounts are as follows:
Contractors who may be requested to supply goods, services or works to the Department in a future emergency will be asked, as is currently the case, to comply with the terms of the contracts agreed with them.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she intends to reply to the letter dated 28 October 2003 from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan to the Minister for Farming, Food and Sustainable Energy, regarding his constituent, Mr. T. Curran of Portsoy. 
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The subject raised by the hon. Member is not a matter for this Department and therefore a transfer did not take place. The hon. Member may wish to raise this issue with the Department to whom he originally wrote.
Alun Michael: The Secretary of State has had no formal meetings with representatives of supermarkets to discuss milk prices. However, retailers are represented on the Dairy Supply Chain Forum chaired by my noble Friend Lord Whitty, which has been looking at collaborative solutions to improve supply chain efficiency, as well as other issues. Retailers are also represented in the Dairy Supply Chain Forum's Industry Development's Cap Reform Sub-Groups which aim to facilitate the long term sustainable development of the dairy supply chain and help it adjust to the new environment created by the reformed CAP.
Mr. Morley: The dumping of effluent in rivers is an offence under the Water Resources Act (WRA) 1991. The Environment Agency (the Agency) is responsible for regulating discharges of effluent to watercourses and issues discharge consents under Schedule 10 of the WRA. In all cases, consents are subject to strict conditions to ensure protection of the receiving water.
It is rare for a consent to be issued to a discharge of farm effluent because of the difficulty of achieving the standards necessary to protect the watercourse. It is accepted practice that slurry, manure and dirty water from farm buildings is contained and usually applied to land in accordance with the relevant sections of Defra's Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water.
The Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations 1991 (and as amended in 1997) specify the size, design and construction standards that must be used for structures built since 1991 and used for storage of these specified materials. These Regulations also provide powers for the Agency to serve a notice, requiring action to avoid pollution, on a storage structure of any age where the Agency considers there is a serious risk of pollution.
28 Jan 2004 : Column 390W
columns 25556W, on environmental taxation, if she will break down into component parts the 2.85 per cent. UK figure. 
|Name of tax||£ million|
|Duty on hydrocarbon oils||22,046.0|
|Ultra low sulphur petrol||11,042.2|
|Ultra low sulphur diesel||8,754.2|
|Non-fossil fuel obligation levy||86.0|
|Vehicle excise duty||4,061.0|
|Air passenger duty||824.0|
|Climate Change Levy||588.0|
|Gas regulator fees||13.0|
|Electricity regulator fees||14.0|
|Water regulator fees||13.0|
|Fees paid to the Environment Agency||190.0|
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions in the UK were brought against fishermen in each of the last 10 years for landing black fish; and how many fishermen were convicted. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Information in the form requested is not readily available. However information extracted from returns on serious fisheries infringements in the United Kingdom submitted to the European Commission since 2000 in response Council Regulation (EC) No 1447/1999 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 2740/1999 shows that the number of infringements involving the falsification of logbooks, landing declarations and sales notes, for which prosecutions were completed and with which black fish landings are associated, were:
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate her Department has made of changes in the tonnage of black fish landed by the United Kingdom registered fishing fleet in (a) home and (b) foreign ports in the last five years; and what her estimate is of the tonnage of black fish landed in the last year. 
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Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what financial contributions her Department made in the last five financial years to fisheries research (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned by the European Union; and what the projects were. 
28 Jan 2004 : Column 392W
|EC FAIR Programme: A calibration of different molecular markers for use in the discrimination and management of stocks of commercially Important Species C0135 EC 95/0282||120,240|
|EC FAIR Programme, 1996: European fish aging networkEfan C0300 EC FAIR CT 96 1304||9,829|
|EC FAIR Programme 1997: diachronic changes in growth rate of North Sea fish species in relation to anthropogenic activities and climate changes C0418 EC FAIR CT 97 3462||44,150|
|EC STUDIES: evaluation and development of spatio-temporal models and survey designs for efficient assessment of mackerel and horse- mackerel C0532 EC 97/0097||5,974|
|EC STUDIES: monitoring fish and epibenthic biodiversity in the north sea and Skagerrak C0738 EC 98/02||139,550|
|EC STUDIES: monitoring discarding and retention on fishing vessels towing demersal gears in the North Sea and Skagerrak C0739 EC 98/097||116,807|
|EC STUDIES: evaluation of market sampling for a number of commercially exploited fish stocks in the North Sea C0768 EC 98/075||62,928|
|EC STUDIES: optimisation of the design of a summer trawl research vessel study for north sea stock C0769 EC 98/029||19,267|
|EC STUDIES: development of stock assessment methodologies egg production estimates of Irish Sea demersal stocks C0798 EC 98/090||268,967|
|EC FAIR: shelf-edge advection, mortality and recruitment (SEAMAR) C0938 FAIR CT983695||2,250|
|EC STUDIES framework to improve the assessment of demersal and pelagic fisheries in western European waters FIEFA 2 C0950||76,341|
|EC STUDIES alternative uses of data from satellite monitoring of fishing vessel activity in fisheries management C0955||52,792|
|EC STUDIES development of elasmobranch assessments C0963||24,375|
|EC STUDIES collection and evaluation of assessment data for key European edible crab stocks C0981||57,618|
|EC FPV development of structurally detailed statistically testable models of marine populations (DST) C0982||152,401|
|EC FPV combining geostatistical and Bayesian methods to improve the scientific basis for the management of Atlantic mackerel fisheries C0989||422,787|
|EC FPV European decapod crustacean fisheries: assessment and management (EDFAM) C1047||11,058|
|EC FPV determination of the linkage between hydrographical frontal activity and ecosystem dynamics in the North Sea and Skagerrak LIFECO C1080 X5RS-200030183||398,483|
|EC STUDIES mackerel triennial egg survey WGMEGS C1237 00/038||153,448|
|EC FPV combining acoustic and trawl data for estimating fish abundance CATEFA C1251 QLRT-200002038||125,914|
|Comparative behavioural dynamics of cod in European waters (CODYSSEY) C1451 QLRT-200100813||445,748|
|Integrated approach to the biological basis of age estimation in commercially important fish species (IBACS) C1473QLRT-200101610||93,021|
|Reproductive potential of cod and hake in relation to recovery plans RASER C1492QLRT-200101825||130,066|
|Framework for the evaluation of management strategies (FEMS) C1502QLRT-200101824||95,685|
|Technological developments and tactical adaptions of important EU fleets (TECTAC) C1522QLRT-200101291||99,259|
|Policy knowledge in fisheries managementthe North Sea cod case (PKFM) C1528QLRT-200101782||36,792|
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what representations she has received from (a) fishermen and (b) their representatives on the (i) application and (ii) utility of selective gear in reducing cod by-catch in haddock fisheries; 
(3) when she was first informed of the Commission's proposal to link spatial management with the increase in the British haddock quota; 
(4) how much time was spent at the December Fisheries Council discussing options for increasing the haddock quota for Scottish boats in International Council for the Exploration of the Seas areas IVa and IVb without resorting to the principle of spatial management; 
(5) what proposals she and her officials put to the (a) Council of Ministers and (b) Commission in or before December 2003 with the aim of enabling Scottish fishermen to maximise opportunities to catch European haddock. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Representations from the industry indicated, variously, a preference for some kind of spatial management. Technical conservation methods (such as selective gear) were also advocated by some as an option to be considered in parallel with spatial management as they are developed.
At the December Fisheries Council all the options to enable responsible exploitation of the North sea haddock stock were considered at some length, but the solution agreed was developed from the spatial management proposed by the industry. In order to secure additional quota for the UK, we negotiated the special licensing system to ensure protection of the cod stock.
Mr. Bradshaw: Information available on landings of and trade in cod in 2002 indicates that landings by UK registered vessels accounted for 15 per cent. of total cod consumed in the UK during the year. However, most of the cod imported into the UK has been processed to some extent. As such on a standardised live weight equivalent basis, the landings by UK registered vessels accounted for 5 per cent. of total cod consumed in the UK in 2002.
28 Jan 2004 : Column 393W
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment has been made of the economic impact of including steaming time in the days at sea allowance on the fishing ports of north east England; 
Mr. Bradshaw: The time at sea limits in 2003 provided for a separate allowance of days for steaming to and from the fishing grounds, for vessels using gear of over 100 mm mesh. No separate allowance exists for 2004, because the calculation of days at sea for 2004 takes account of the fleet's time at sea in the base period, including its steaming time.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what limitations have been placed on the locations in which the (a) monkfish and (b) megrim quota awarded to the Scottish fleet can be caught in International Council for the Exploration of the Seas areas IVa and IVb. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No such limitations apply specifically to the monkfish or megrim quotas set for the management area comprising International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) areas lla (EC waters) and IV (EC waters).
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the reason is for excluding pelagic boats from the cod exclusion zone in International Council for the Exploration of the Seas area VIa. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No scientific reason was adduced for this. The Commission has now acknowledged that the provision is more restrictive than is necessary to protect cod, and is working on revised wording.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the approximate landed fish values of the quotas of (a) cod, (b) haddock, (c) monkfish and (d) megrim, awarded to the Scottish fishing fleet in International Council for the Exploration of the Seas areas IVa and IVb were for this year. 
Mr. Bradshaw: It is not possible to estimate in advance the value of quota. Fish quota, held in the form of Fixed Quota Allocation Units, has no intrinsic value. Any value placed on uncaught quota used in quota transfers will depend on market conditions and each parties assessment of its value. The table shows the value at first point of sale of fish landed by the Scottish fleet from ICES areas IVa and IVb in the most recent year for which complete figures are available. It gives an indication of the value realised by landings of these quota species.
28 Jan 2004 : Column 394W
|Area of capture|
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what factors affect the (a) seaworthiness and (b) ability to trawl in adverse weather conditions of fishing vessels; what effect these factors have on the ability of vessels to exploit fully allocations of days at sea. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The seaworthiness of fishing vessels, and their ability to trawl in adverse weather, depend on various factors, including their design and construction, the standard of maintenance, and the standard of operation of the vessels. It is the responsibility of the skipper to determine when it is safe to fish.
In any year fishing operations will be curtailed from time to time by adverse weather. The calculation of permitted days at sea for 2004 takes account of the time spent at sea in the base period, including when fishing was constrained by bad weather. It thus incorporates time for when fishing is not safe.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the implications of the use of days at sea restrictions on regulating fishing effort. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Limits on time at sea applied in 2003 in the North sea and West of Scotland, to help conserve cod stocks. On the basis of experience with this measure the European Commission and the member states concluded that limits on time at sea should be continued in order to reduce fishing effort as part of a cod recovery plan. Experience in administering the various elements of controls in 2003 informed decisions by the Council of Ministers on the details of successor arrangements for 2004. The Government's objective in negotiations on the 2004 arrangements took account of the views of the fishing industry on the 2003 measures.
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