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Jonathan Shaw: All cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which makes it an offence to intentionally kill or injure cetaceans. The Government strengthened the protection given to cetaceans through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 which introduced a new offence of recklessly disturbing cetaceans. The first successful conviction under the Act was in December 2007.
All cetaceans are also listed under Annex IVa of the Council Directive (92/43/EEC) on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (the Habitats Directive), as species in need of strict protection. This directive is transposed into UK law by the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994, protecting cetaceans from deliberate killing and capture.
The UK is also a Party to ASCOBANSthe Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North seaswhich aims to restore and/or maintain biological or management stocks of small cetaceans at the level they would reach when there is the lowest possible anthropogenic influence and proposes to reach these aims through co-ordinating and implementing conservation measures for small cetaceans.
We realise that the by-catch of cetaceans in some fisheries can be a problem. In an attempt to reduce fisheries by-catch DEFRA and the devolved administrations fisheries departments published the UK Small Cetacean By-catch Response Strategy in March 2003. An update on the progress of implementing the strategy can be found at:
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the remit is of the study commissioned to monitor the environmental effects of inshore fishing; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Owners of inshore fishing vessels that target quota stocks and operate (i) off the north east coast centred around Hartlepool, (ii) off the east coast centred around Lowestoft, and (iii) in the Thames Estuary, will be invited to participate. The pilot will collect information on a range of indicators including fishing method, catches, discards, marketing and fuel consumption. This, and other information, will help inform the implementation of Fisheries 2027, a long-term vision for sustainable fisheries. DEFRA officials have spoken with a number of fishermen from the above areas who have expressed an interest in participating in the pilot and, in due course, they will be holding meetings in the three pilot areas to discuss details of the scheme. I have not offered compensation but costs of equipping participating vessels will be met by DEFRA. I will consider extending the pilot to recreational fishing following a review of the first six months of the scheme which I aim to have operational by the summer.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the EnergyUsing Products Framework Directive does not disadvantage small and medium-sized manufacturers; 
(2) how his Department plans to implement the provisions of the Energy Using Products Directive relating to progressive minimum standards for controls that installers will need to comply with when installing a boiler; if he will ensure that that implementation does not include requirements additional to those in the Directive; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: The Energy Using Products Framework Directive (EuP) by itself, does not have any direct impact on industry. Rather it establishes a Framework for the European Commission and member states to develop implementing measures setting eco-design requirements for specific products or product groups. It is only when these implementing measures have been agreed and enter into force that they require manufacturers to take action. Discussions on specific implementing measures are still ongoing.
Similarly, as discussions between the Commission, member states and stakeholders relating to the proposed implementing measure for hot water heaters and boilers are still ongoing it is not yet possible to say what the exact requirements, if any, will be for controls nor what form this implementing measure will take.
My officials have invited key stakeholders, including members of the boiler and water heater industry, to discuss the proposals currently being considered in this area and to raise any concerns on implications for the
UK. The Commission is currently analysing responses from the industry and the alternative proposals it has put forward.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many pelagic pair trawlers from each country of origin operated within each area in the UKs 12 nautical mile limit in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: During 2007, six French pair teams and one German pair team were observed. It is difficult to determine if the vessels were pelagic fishing at the time of observation as not all vessels were inspected. The German pair team accessed the UK 12 nautical mile limit in the North sea off the Northumberland coast, the French pair teams were all operating in the English channel. Activity within Scottish and Northern Ireland waters is a matter for those Administrations.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what joint operations the Government has undertaken with its European counterparts in relation to fisheries protection and enforcement in each year since 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Op Shark relates to joint operations with the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium, or a combination thereof.
Op St. Pierre relates to joint operations with France.
Op Wasp relates to operations with the Republic of Ireland.
Joint Deployment Plans (JDP) are operations under the auspices of the Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA).
|Op Shark||Op St. Pierre||Op Wasp||JDP|
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many joint operations were undertaken between the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron and the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how he calculates the level of aerial surveillance required to enforce fisheries rules and regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Aerial surveillance requirements are a matter for the Marine and Fisheries Agency and take into account a variety of operational needs including levels and types of fishing activity and availability of other enforcement assets.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what vessels from other EU member states undertake fisheries protection and enforcement within UK fishery limits; and if he will make a statement. 
1. when taking part in Joint Deployment Plans organised by the Community Fisheries Control Agency.
2. when taking part in joint exercises organised by the UK and one or more other member states.
3. when inspecting their own vessels under their own initiative after notifying the UK authorities in accordance with EC Reg. 1042/2006.
4. when inspecting OMS vessels under their own initiative, when permission from the UK must be sought in accordance with EC Reg. 1042/2006.
To date, vessels from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark have taken part in joint operations under options 1. and 2. France have notified the UK and inspected their own vessels under option 3. No vessels have or sought our permission to carry out operations under option 4.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what effect the reduction in the funding to the Marine and Fisheries Agency from 2007-08 to 2008-09 had on discussions over the changes made to the new contract effective from 1 April 2008 with the Royal Navy on the number of Fishery Protection Squadron patrol days to be provided; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) received formal confirmation of its initial allocation shortly before the public announcement in DEFRAs press release of 21 February 2008. The operational budget has not been reduced. The MFA initial budget for 2008-09 is based on 2007-08 operational responsibilities. Additional resources for any other activities that the MFA may be asked to undertake in 2008-09 will be provided accordingly
The MFAs operational requirements for monitoring, control and surveillance at sea under the new Royal Navy Agreement, were fully taken into account as part of the business planning and budget allocation process.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will decide whether to alter the number of patrol days
provided by the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron under the new contract; what consideration he has given to changing the number of days to (a) 750, (b) 650 and (c) 600; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the likely effects of Lot 1 of the Energy-using Products Directive on the UK heating controls industry. 
Joan Ruddock: The Governments Market Transformation Programme is currently assessing the full range of possible impacts of the implementation of the Energy Using Products Directive based on the Commissions current proposals.
Heating controls play an important role in reducing the energy used by heating systems. DEFRA officials held a large stakeholder meeting on 4 February to discuss the proposals in the public consultation launched on 17 January, which set out indicative standards for better use of existing controls and advanced controls for domestic heating, and to receive feedback from industry on the Commissions proposals on boilers and water heaters.
Officials have also held a number of ad hoc meetings with key stakeholders from the boiler and water heater industry in order to discuss the implications of the proposals on boilers and water heaters for the UK.
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department has provided to local authorities on the minimum levels of energy produced from waste that should be created by new build incinerators; and if he will make a statement. 
any heat generated by the incineration or the co-incineration process shall be recovered as far as practicable.
Guidance published by DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government was first issued in early 2003 and deals with this, and all other requirements of the waste incineration directive. It does not, however, stipulate the minimum levels of energy produced from waste that should be created by new build incinerators. The guidance is available on the DEFRA website.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account he took of the commitments and likely spending of the Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) in the next financial year when reducing the MFA budget from 2007-08 to 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The operational budget has not been reduced. The Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) initial budget for 2008-09 is based on 2007-08 operational responsibilities. Additional resources for any other activities that the MFA may be asked to undertake in 2008-09 will be provided accordingly.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 27 February 2008, Official Report, column 1633W, whether the network of ecologically coherent and well-managed protected areas are those under Natura 2000 network; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The network of ecologically coherent and well-managed protected areas referred to in the answer of 27 February 2008, Official Report, column 1633W, will include Natura sites, of which we currently have 76 Special protections areas with marine habitats for birds, and 72 special areas of conservation with marine habitats or species.
The Joint Nature Conservation Committee has been consulting on seven initial offshore sites since December 2007. The consultation is due to close on 14 March 2008. However, we expect that the network will also include a number of marine conservation zones, as proposed under the forthcoming Marine Bill.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the majority of the marine Natura 2000 network protecting species and habitats of key importance to be in place; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many offshore marine sites his Department has surveyed for marine protected area status; when they were surveyed; and if he will make a statement. 
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