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Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the geographical restrictions and closed areas which apply to (a) specific types of fishing activity, (b) all commercial fishing activity, (c) demersal fishing and (d) pelagic fishing in United Kingdom territorial waters; and which areas have restrictions which apply (i) all year round and (ii) during part of the year. 
|Closed areas which apply to specific types of fishing activity|
|Nursery Areas for bass||37 areas in estuaries and around the coast of England and Wales closed, by the UK Government, to bass fishing to protect juveniles|
|The Wash||A ban introduced by UK Government in 1998 on dredging for razor shells, trough shells and carpet shells to protect the Wash and North Norfolk candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC)|
|Sandeel Box||Area (the Wee Bankie) off the North-east coast of the UK, part of which falls within territorial waters, where industrial fishing has been banned since 2000 by the EU to protect the food species of a range of predators including sea-birds|
|Pout box||Area to the east of Scotland, Orkney and the Shetland Islands, part of which falls within territorial waters, closed to all towed gear by EU measures to protect other roundfish.|
|Herring boxes||Areas within UK territorial waters in the north-east Irish Sea, Butt of Lewis, Clyde estuary, north east England are closed during spawning periods to targeted herring fishing to protect herring stocks.|
|Fal and Helford Estuaries||A ban introduced by UK Government in 2003 on dredging for scallops to protect the Fal and Helford cSAC|
|Solent||A ban introduced by UK Government in 2004 on the use|
|European||of "pump scoop" dredges to protect the Solent European|
|Marine Site||Marine Site.|
|Closed areas which apply to demersal fishing|
|Irish Sea||Area, part of which falls within territorial waters, closed each spring since 2000 through EU measures, to targeted fishing for cod in Spring as part of Irish Sea Cod Recovery Plan to protect spawning cod|
|Clyde estuary||Area closed, by the Scottish Executive, each spring since2001 to demersal trawls to protect spawning cod.|
|Closed areas which apply to pelagic fishing|
|Mackerel box||Area off the south west coast of England and Wales, part of which falls within territorial waters, closed to pelagic trawls since1989 through EU measures to protect juvenile mackerel.|
|Sprat Boxes||Areas off Northumberland and Tyne and Wear (part of which falls within territorial waters), in the Moray Firth and the Firth of Forth closed seasonally to fishing for sprat through EU measures in order to protect herring stocks.|
In addition to these closures Sea Fisheries Committees have also restricted fishing in a number of areas around the English and Welsh coast. In particular Devon Sea Fisheries Committee introduced a total fishing ban around the Isle of Lundy in 2003 to protect the Lundy Marine Nature Reserve. Similarly, the Scottish Executive has implemented a variety of prohibitions on fishing in Scottish inshore Waters.
Ports occupied by the Royal Navy often exclude all fishing activity from areas close to anchorages and navigation channels. Other areas closed to fishing are historic wrecks and oil and gas installations, of which there are many in coastal and offshore waters.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost to public funds was of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak; how much was requested by the UK Government from the European Commission to contribute towards meeting these costs; and how much was contributed by the Commission. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The cost to the UK public funds of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak was about £3 billion. The United Kingdom requested £960 million for re-imbursement from the European Commission which represented 60 per cent. of the total eligible costs (£1.6 billion). Of this the UK will receive some £350 million from the EC. This is the largest proportion of the costs of a disease outbreak ever received by a member state from the commission.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what response the (a) European Commission and (b) European Court of Auditors made to her Department's request for funding to assist in meeting the cost of dealing with the consequences of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Following a full and detailed audit of the United Kingdom's claim for re-imbursement following the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak the European Commission has agreed a total payment of £350 million to the UK in settlement of our claim of £960 million.
In their report the Commission acknowledged the unprecedented scale of the 2001 FMD outbreak. The comments in the report centred on their opinion that the valuers employed by Defra had overvalued the animals culled, and that the Department had overpaid for goods and services.
As part of their audit of the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors made similar comments to those of the Commission and the NAO in regard to the unprecedented scale of the outbreak and with the regard to the overpayments and certain technical and financial inadequacies.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the application of the Hague Preference; and in what circumstances she is prepared to invoke it. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Hague Preference (HP) is a Common Fisheries Policy mechanism designed to adjust national fish quota allocations to take account of the needs of certain fisheries dependent areas in northern parts of the UK and in the Republic of Ireland. These arrangements can provide additional fishing opportunities to the UK and the Republic of Ireland when quotas for certain stocks fall below determined trigger levels.
We have refrained from invoking Hague Preference in some cases where stocks are seriously depleted, as in these cases the full operation of Hague Preference could transfer the bulkor in some cases allof other member states' allocations to the UK.
16 Dec 2004 : Column 1221W
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what studies her Department has made of the practical applications of large-scale Manzanares-style solar chimneys. 
The DTI has not made a specific study on the practical applications of large scale Manzanares-style solar chimneys. In the most recent report on the potential for renewables energyRenewables Innovation Review February 2004recommendations on solar related to photovoltaics only.
However the results of the Manzanares solar chimney project are widely reported. The technology is relatively inefficient as a means of converting sunlight into electricity (less than 1 per cent. of sunlight converted to electricity). In addition, to create significant power requires a high tower and a vast collection area. In addition there may be environmental impact considerations.
The company EnviroMission are proposing to build the first commercial scale power plant based on this technology in Melbourne, Australia. To produce 200 MW at a practical efficiency in this high solar gain area will require a tower of about 1 km high and a collection area of 40 square kilometres. The DTI will consider reviewing this technology when further results from the Australian project are available.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the attributable interviews that her Department's special advisers gave to (a) newspapers, (b) journals, (c) books and (d) other media in their official capacity between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004. 
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs f she will list the attributable (a) articles and (b) contributions that her Department's special advisers made to (i) newspapers, (ii) journals, (iii) books and (iv) other media in their official capacity between 31March 2003 and 31 March 2004. 
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004 departmental special advisers travelled (a) domestically and (b) abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. 
Alun Michael: All travel by the special advisers has been undertaken in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code. During this period the special advisers have visited, in an official capacity, the following places/countries at a cost listed in the following table.
|2527 April 2003||France||483.90|
|58 May 2003||Spain and Italy||1,316.39|
|2023 May 2003||Ukraine||3,224.03|
|26 May 2003||Belgium||1,051.23|
|1113 June 2003||Luxemburg||731.68|
|2526 June 2003||Luxemburg||851.28|
|30 June 2003||Stoneleigh, UK||448.99|
|916 September 2003||Mexico||4,599.66|
|56 October 2003||Italy||927.06|
|1213 October 2003||Italy||1,885.94|
|913 December 2003||Italy||643.40|
|1516 January 2004||Switzerland||566.50|
|2 March 2004||Belgium||259.00|
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints were made by departmental civil servants regarding the conduct of special advisers between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004. 
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