Supplementary evidence from the Department
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
1. Please provide
a copy of the chart of monitoring arrangements collated by Defra
and promised by the Minister (Q480 refers).
A key requirement of the UK Marine Monitoring
and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS) is to understand what, where,
why, and when monitoring is taking place, and who is carrying
it out. The attached table (Attachment 1) (not printed) contains
this marine monitoring metadata (data on data) which will assist
in ensuring monitoring programmes are co-ordinated, efficient
and fit for purpose. This information will be updated on an annual
basis by the key agencies involved in monitoring the marine environment
and will be made available through a new database called the UKDMOS
(UK Directory of Marine Observing Systems).
2. Please provide a copy of the league table
referred to by the Minister in relation to the comparison of funding
in the UK and elsewhere in Europe (Q502 refers).
The table below gives the spend on "marine
fisheries science" by all partners in the MariFish project.
It is not easy to compare between partners since some countries
include fisheries stock monitoring and assessment whilst other
do not. Defra's annual spend is 5 million R&D and 14
|Country||Total annual value of
marine fisheries science
| Ireland||13 million
|UK (Defra)||19 million
3. Please provide a copy of the chart of Defra spending
areas and shortfalls within marine science (Q505 refers).
The attached figure (Attachment 2) (Annex 1) and supporting
table (Attachment 3) (Annex 2) provides:
an estimated current annual UK spend on monitoring
and surveillance in the marine environment (c>£37 million);
an estimated future annual UK spend on monitoring
and surveillance to meet new and emerging commitments in the marine
environment (c>£60 million).
These figures are conservative estimates based on returns
made to the UKMMAS Secretariat by those key agencies responsible
for marine monitoring in the UK.
4. How will the Defra fisheries laboratories work with
the NERC institutes under Oceans 2025? Is there a need to
review how the two sides could work together better to the good
of UK marine science?
Defra welcomes the development of Oceans 2025. Following
from the Net Benefits report, and the government response (1,2),
Defra jointly with other government departments commissioned a
review of the Science for Sustainable Marine Bioresources and
its delivery across the UK science community. Within Oceans 2025,
one of the 10 Themes is Sustainable Marine Resources. The government
marine laboratories were engaged in scoping meetings for the contents
of this Theme along with detailed discussions of the final plans.
In parallel, Defra, NERC and the devolved administrations have
contributed to a Sustainable Marine Bioresources Programme with
cash or work in kind. The call for projects had to incorporate
direct linkages with the government marine laboratories. The proposals
are being evaluated at this time. In addition there are many individual
contacts between NERC and government scientists in their day to
In the oral evidence (Q230-Q234) the NERC Directors commented
on the lack of vessel access for shelf seas science. Subsequently
Cefas wrote to NERC offering to discuss whether Cefas vessel time,
on its 72 metre Cefas Endeavour, could be made available to NERC.
REFERENCES 1 Net Benefits.
A sustainable and profitable future for UK fishing. Prime Minister's
Strategy Unit, March 2004.
2 Securing the Benefits. The joint UK response to the Prime
Minister's Strategy Unit Net Benefits report on the future of
the fishing industry in the UK, Defra, 2005
5. What is Defra's policy on the release of data from publicly-funded
operations (Q 531 refers)?
Defra strives to make all data generated from publicly funded
operations freely available as soon as is reasonably possible.
Current research contracts outline that contractors must endeavour
to make information and results from any project generally available,
provided it is accompanied by an acknowledgment of the financial
support received. However, this does not apply for any information
covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 or considered "commercial
in confidence". Contractors are permitted to "add value"
to this data in order to generate "value added products"
which may then be subject to licence restrictions and appropriate
Defra Marine Environment Division is in the process of drafting
a Marine Data Policy and appropriate new wording for insertion
into research contracts to facilitate the collation, release,
re-use, and storage of marine data. This is in-line with the work
currently underway within the Marine Data and Information Partnership
(MDIPhttp://www.oceannet.org/mdip/) to create a framework
for marine data stewardship.
6. Please provide a note on the work undertaken to date
on designating MPAs (Q537 refers)?
Natura 2000 sites
The Habitats Directive requires the creation of a network
of protected areas known as Natura 2000. This network consists
of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) to protect habitats and
species listed under the Habitats Directive and Special Protection
Areas (SPAs) to protect wild birds as set out under the Wild Birds
A range of legislative measures are in place to provide protection
to important marine species and habitats. We currently have 182
marine protected areas with marine features in UK inshore waters
(up to 12 nautical miles), which include:
81 Special Protections Areas with marine
habitats for birds;
98 Special Areas of Conservation with marine
habitats or species; and
three statutory marine nature reserves.
In total the area coverage of these sites exceeds 1.8 million
hectares, or 2.2% of UK waters.
Work is underway to identify further sites in UK waters (English
territorial waters and UK offshore waters). To date 20 areas for
marine habitats have been surveyed and there are plans for additional
survey of a further 16 areas. Approximately seven areas for marine
birds have also been surveyed, with plans for 30 more. A selection
of these areas surveyed are likely to be recommended as marine
protected areas under the Habitats and Birds Directives, but the
number and area of these sites is not yet known.
The Joint Nature Conservation Committee is responsible for
the identification of SACs and SPAs beyond 12 nautical miles from
the coast. It is due to consult on the first tranche of draft
offshore marine SACs later this year.
Under OSPAR there is an international commitment to establish
an ecologically coherent network of well managed Marine Protected
Areas by 2010. By then we will have largely completed our network
of European Natura 2000 sites by building on those already present
in inshore waters. We will then add to this network by including
Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) proposed as part of the Marine
Bill. We are continuing to discuss the timetable for completing
this network of Marine Protected Areas with conservation agencies,
Natural England hope to have identified the network in English
territorial waters by 2012.
There is as much data available in relation to the range,
extent, and distribution of broadscale marine features termed
marine landscapes (http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-2117). There is
a balance to strike between using coarse level data to inform
the selection of MCZs and commissioning further scientific research
to more narrowly identify the features or species in need of conservation.
Nature conservation bodies will consider how best to address this
balance when selecting MCZs in order to make sure that we achieve
our network within timescale.
Marine Conservation Zones
MCZs will allow us to protect a wide range of species and
habitats that are important in UK waters. Among other purposes
they will enable the designation of rare and threatened species
and habitats as well as areas that best represent the range of
biodiversity in our waters. Nature conservation agencies have
funding to carry out further scientific surveys to identify areas
that could be suitable for selection as MCZs. Whilst we do not
have a comprehensive understanding of all marine ecosystems, we
are aware of key species, habitats and ecosystems that will require
protection under the MCZ mechanism.
MCZs will be designated using a flexible approach that enables
protection of ecosystems and biodiversity without causing inappropriate
economic or social impacts wherever possible. We propose to take
account of both the current situation in the area and the future
situation anticipated as the result of factors such as planned
economic development or climate change.
7. What monitoring has taken place to check whether the
recommendations of the Foresight Marine Panel have been implemented
Defra has recently reviewed its priorities for Marine Fisheries
Research, and as a result has restructured their R&D programme.
The Defra R&D programme is broken into the following three
topics: Impacts of Fishing on the Marine Ecosystem, Effects of
the Environment on Fish Stocks, and Fisheries Management. The
New programme incorporates all of the recommendations of the Foresight
Marine Panel on Marine Fisheries. In addition, direct fisheries
management measures are making an impact on the monitoring and
control of fishing activity, and Bio-economic modelling has been
enhanced through Defra and SFIA modelling.
8. How is Defra working with the European Commission on
the coverage of marine science within the maritime strategy
green paper and the Seventh Framework Programme? Why is the Department
of Transport the lead Government department on the green
Marine science is a cross cutting issue in the Seventh Framework
Programme with marine resources covered in Theme 2 (Food, Agriculture
and Fisheries and Biotechnology) of the Co-operation Specific
Programme and pressures on the marine system and the management
of marine environments covered in Theme 6 (Environment, including
climate change). The UK works with the Commission through the
programme committees for these themes and is represented by Defra,
FSA and BBSRC in Theme 2 and Defra and NERC in Theme 6.
The aim of the EU Maritime Green Paper is to launch a debate
about a future Maritime Policy for the EU that treats the oceans
and seas in a holistic way. It will try to determine how links
between maritime transport, industry, coastal regions, offshore
energy, fisheries and the marine environment are to be brought
together. The Green Paper is a consultation, and the substantive
work with the Commission by Defra on maritime science is through
the Seventh Framework programme. The Department of Transport's
lead reflects their lead role on maritime transport, the key component
of the Green Paper.