Written Answers to Questions

Monday 23 July 2007

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Coastal Areas: Finance

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals for financial support for coastal clear-up in Cornwall. [152040]

Jonathan Shaw: My Department is not looking to provide financial support for coastal clear-up in Cornwall or elsewhere. However, local authorities, and others, who have incurred costs as a result of pollution from a ship-source pollution incident may recover their costs by lodging a claim in court in accordance with the domestic law which applies the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Convention, 1966 (LLMC).

Where marine pollution incidents do occur which pose a particular risk to the marine environment, my Department will consider whether to undertake and fund appropriate monitoring so as to be able to assess the impact of the incident.

Domestic Wastes: Recycling

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to encourage all councils to provide residents with a second bin for recyclables. [150785]

Joan Ruddock [holding answer 19 July 2007]: The Government encourages all local authorities to work closely with householders to increase levels of recycling and composting and my Department has set challenging national and local targets to drive improvements forward.

The Household Waste Recycling Act 2003 requires all waste collection authorities (subject to certain exemptions) to provide a separate kerbside collection service for at least two recyclable materials by 2010. Each authority is free to choose its own method of collection and the priority, degree of effort and resources required to meet its target and the requirements of the Act.

Recent statistics show that approximately 88 per cent. of households are now served by a kerbside collection for two or more recyclates.

Fisheries: Cornwall

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the volume of fish caught by Cornish fishing crews was between (a) 2001 and 2006, (b) 1996 and 2000 and (c) 1990 and 1995. [152032]


23 July 2007 : Column 648W

Jonathan Shaw: Fisheries Departments in the UK do not record information to allow landings made by Cornish fishing crews to be separately identified. Information is available on landings by UK fishing vessels whose home ports are within Cornwall, excluding those vessels administered from port offices in Cornwall but owned by foreign interests. The following table shows details of these landings in tonnes live weight of all fish species. The table also includes data for grouped landings by small vessels of 10 metre and under length into ports in Cornwall, on the assumption that these vessels will be primarily Cornish vessels.

Year range Weight (tonnes live weight)

(a) 2001 to 2006

82,670

(b) 1996 to 2000

89,695

(c) 1990 to 1995

71,397


Fisheries: Industrial Accidents

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) deaths and (b) injuries were sustained by Cornish fishermen at work between (i) 1977 and 1986, (ii) 1987 and 1996 and (iii) 1997 and 2006. [152031]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I have been asked to reply.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch hold details of deaths and injuries aboard UK registered fishing vessels from 1991. Crew deaths and injuries aboard or boarding fishing vessels registered in a Cornish port are:

Deaths Injuries

1991-96

14

27

1997-2006

15

42


Fisheries: Protection

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 6 June 2007, Official Report, column 553W, on fisheries: protection, what estimate he has made of the number of hours per week the Royal Navy Fishery Protection service will be operational in UK seas in each of the five years of the new agreement beginning on 1 April 2008; and if he will make a statement. [150566]

Jonathan Shaw: For 2008-09 it is proposed that the Royal Navy Fisheries Protection Squadron will provide the Marine and Fisheries Agency with 700 patrol days. The precise number of patrol days for subsequent years will be subject to detailed operational requirements. It is proposed that there will be flexibility to increase or reduce the requirement by 50 days a year subject to notice being given by the Marine and Fisheries Agency in September the year before. The operational details of future tasking is not determined on an hourly basis. The Marine and Fisheries Agency agrees task profiling with the RN and MOD and at present is considering an option of operating on a 21-day patrol cycle for each vessel.


23 July 2007 : Column 649W

The maximum patrol days available during the period of the agreement will be 750 a year and the minimum will be 600.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what average number of hours per (a) week and (b) month the
23 July 2007 : Column 650W
Royal Navy Fishery Protection Service was operational in UK seas was in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [150568]

Jonathan Shaw: The RN/MFA Agreement refers to patrol days dedicated to the task of fishery protection. This has been accounted for on a monthly basis as set out in the following table.

Month 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

January

79

91

67

71

65

56

50

58

46

51

February

96

91

64

74

89

82

82

79

65

77

March

74

91

86

85

82

87

72

83

82

70

April

98

93

82

77

84

87

78

79

78

66

66

May

92

91

80

86

93

86

85

72

80

79

79

June

107

94

97

85

86

89

95

83

88

81

66

July

111

112

102

97

79

92

86

86

82

92

August

113

102

73

74

78

76

86

80

89

80

September

100

103

99

102

78

77

94

83

87

80

October

98

92

88

80

82

85

69

63

67

73

November

101

91

78

85

83

76

65

69

50

54

December

61

54

63

61

58

49

46

45

41

42


Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answers of 6 June 2007, Official Report, column 553W, on when he expects to conclude discussions with the Marine and Fisheries Agency, the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence on the detail of the agreement for the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Service from 1 April 2008; and if he will make a statement. [150571]

Jonathan Shaw: The Marine and Fisheries Agency, the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence are currently considering the detailed provisions of the new agreement. I expect these discussions to be concluded in good time for the new arrangements to operate from 1 April 2008.

Fisheries: Quotas

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2007, Official Report, column 1663W, on fisheries quotas, for what reasons no (a) scientific assessments have been carried out and (b) safe biological limits have been defined for certain fish stocks; and if he will make a statement. [150565]

Jonathan Shaw: Fish stocks in EU waters are assessed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Scientists from the UK's fisheries laboratories contribute to the undertaking of these assessments. The ability to perform scientific assessments is directly linked to the quality of fisheries data. In some fisheries, for example, the quality of catch and effort data are deemed to be insufficient or the available catch data appear to conflict with data from research surveys. In such cases, as a consequence, quantitative scientific assessments are not available.

In the absence of a quantitative scientific assessment, it is not possible to define a stock's status with respect to safe biological limits.


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