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Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the bluetongue outbreak on agriculture farmgate prices in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRAs current estimate of the economic cost to the UK livestock sector of movement restrictions and controls on exports, imposed as a result of foot and mouth disease and bluetongue, is over £100 million.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated rebuilding costs of Brixham Fish Quay are; when the rebuilding will be (a) started and (b) completed; how much EU funding under Objective 2 the scheme has received; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 27 November 2007]: In February 2007, the Marine and Fisheries Agency agreed to commit £2 million towards the renovation of Brixham Fish Market. Subsequently, we agreed that work on the project could begin in May 2007 and, exceptionally due to the importance of the project, that the project would be completed by October 2008, which is later than the formal Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance timetable.
The Objective 2 programme is contributing £2 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards the cost of the wider Brixham regeneration scheme. This includes access to the fish quay and the provision of workspace for marine and fish-related businesses, but not to the fish quay itself.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which representatives of his Department attended the Nerc-Quest workshop on climate change and uplands: science to inform adaptation, held in Bristol on 8-9 November. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who represented the United Kingdom at the 27th meeting of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, held in Valencia on 12 to 17 November; whether the Government submitted any papers to the meeting; and if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting. 
The report shows unequivocally that the climate is warming and that humans are largely responsible for
recent climate change. Climate change will continue to grow and its impacts are projected to become increasingly severe over the coming century if we do not take urgent and sustained action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report shows that technologies already exist to make such deep cuts in emissions and that this can be done at a modest cost.
The report is highly relevant and timely. It is a clear call for urgent international action. We hope it will be given full and detailed consideration next week in Bali, when formal negotiations will be launched to achieve a global agreement to tackle climate change by 2009.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many responses he has received to his consultation document on access to coastal areas; what assessment he has made of such responses; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 26 November 2007]: We received 749 responses to the coastal access consultation from a wide range of organisations and individuals, including 324 which were prompted by a campaign from the Ramblers Association in support of Natural England s recommended approach that new legislation was the best way forward for improving coastal access.
Analysis of the responses began before the consultation closed on 11 September. From the analysis we concluded that the overall weight of the responses was in support of Natural Englands recommendation and we have announced our intention to introduce legislation to provide a right to walk around the English coast.
Jonathan Shaw: In September 2007, Natural England published its first annual monitoring report on the right of access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The report is available on the Natural England website.
The Secretary of State is taking a number of steps to stimulate markets for SRF. Budget 2007 announced that the Government would review the classes of equipment that qualified for enhanced capital allowances (ECAs) for 'good quality' combined heat and power (CHP) schemes to ensure that all the equipment necessary for CHP schemes to utilise SRF was included. The review of the equipment list is now
complete and an order will be laid before Parliament shortly revising the energy technology criteria list within the CHP scheme arrangements. Further information will be available shortly from the ECA programme or HM Revenue and Customs websites.
DEFRA is also working with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on proposals contained in its recent consultation, reform of the renewables obligation. If implemented, these could stimulate the co-firing of SRF with coal or biomass.
In 2006, DEFRA organised a workshop to draw to the attention of industrial intensive energy users the potential for SRF as an alternative energy feedstock to gas. A number of procurements for waste treatment and disposal infrastructure are now considering producing SRF, some of which could be used as an industrial fuel.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how often he has (a) used and (b) attempted to use powers under Articles 7, 8 and 9 of Council Regulation 2371/220 to enable him to close areas to fishing; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 18 June 2007, Official Report, columns 1431-32W, on fisheries, what information his Department holds on discard pilot projects undertaken by other EU member states; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) are partners in an EU project to evaluate the effectiveness of discard pilots across the Community. The work is not due to be completed until the spring of next year, but an interim report has been produced and I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his European counterparts on the merits of fishing effort reduction in UK fisheries; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: In the absence of formal Commission proposals, my discussions with European colleagues thus far, concerning the effort management arrangements for next year, have not focused on issues specific to particular member states. I have however made clear that the UK will resist blunt cuts in days for 2008 and believe it is more important to focus on other ways of reducing fishing mortality, including through the operation of a real-time closure mechanism to protect concentrations of juvenile fish and the trialling of more selective gear.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what targets he has set on the average time to enter fisheries data on to the fisheries database; and if he will make a statement; 
Jonathan Shaw: The Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) has a performance target of ensuring 90 per cent. of the information received on catches and fishing activity is entered onto the fisheries database within five working days of receipt of all necessary information.
The performance with regards to other data (primarily related to data received from sales notes related to activity by small vessels of 10 metres and under) has been affected by the introduction of the requirement for registration of buyers and sellers of fish from September 2005. This has led to a significant increase in the volume of such data being received for processing by the MFA during 2006. New procedures have been introduced and resources within the MFA have been reallocated to help deal with this increased workload while ensuring that the key performance target continues to be met.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the most recent estimate is for the time by which the EU discards atlas will be completed; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Regrettably, the EU Discards Atlas project has still not been put out to tender and it is therefore not yet clear when it will commence. The Commissions Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) is however holding a meeting in early December, which will be chaired by a scientist from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), to identify the EU fisheries with the highest discard levels.
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 26 November 2007]: In line with the latest scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the UK is proposing a modest increase of 15 per cent. in the North sea cod total allowable catch (TAC) for 2008. We believe this will reduce the scale of discarding, while the days at sea limitations under the EU's cod recovery plan will ensure that there is no additional targeting of the stock.
At the same time, the Government are developing with the UK industry a series of alternative measures designed to reduce fishing mortality. These include the piloting of a real-time closure mechanism in Scottish waters, where vessels are required to move grounds if the proportion of smaller fish in the catch exceeds a pre-determined maximum. Additionally, more selective fishing practices, developed in consultation with the fishing industry, are being commercially trialled with a view to more widespread application if successful.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many 10-metre and under fishing vessels were registered in the UK in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: On 1 November 2007, there were 4,979 10-metre or under fishing vessels registered in the United Kingdom (excluding islands). The data for the years 1997 to 2006 (as at 31 December of each year) are in the following table.
|Number 10 metre and under|
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his assessment is of the effect on market prices of pedigree livestock of (a) the foot and mouth and (b) the bluetongue outbreak; and if he will make a statement. 
DEFRAs current estimate of the economic cost to the UK livestock sector of the movement restrictions and the ban on exports, imposed as a result of foot and mouth disease and bluetongue, is
over £100 million. Disaggregated estimates of the impact on market prices of pedigree livestock have not been made.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether officials have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed as a result of the escape of the foot and mouth virus from the Pirbright laboratory; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 21 November 2007]: No officials have been disciplined or dismissed as a result of the escape of the foot and mouth virus from the Pirbright laboratory. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)-led investigation did not apportion blame to officials.
It concluded that it was not possible to identify which of three possible sourcesthe Institute of Animal Health, Merial or Stabilitech was the origin of the release. The issue of fault and enforcement action is for Surrey Trading Standards.
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