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Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what fishing and related activities took place in the proposed offshore special areas of conservation at (a) Braemar Pockmarks, (b) Scanner Pockmark, (c) North Norfolk sandbanks and Saturn reef, (d) Haig Frais, (e) Stanton Banks, (f) Darwin Mounds and (g) Wyville Thomson Ridge in the latest period for which information is available; how often fishing took place in each; which boats were identified; in which countries those boats were registered; what species were targeted in each; what catch techniques were used; and what the commercial value was of each catch. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Joint Nature Conservation Council (JNCC) is required to prepare conservation objectives and advice on operations as soon as practicable after sites are submitted to the European Commission. For each of the offshore Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) subject to consultation in 2007-08, JNCC prepared draft documents to the best of its existing knowledge, in consultation with various Government Departments and agencies who hold such information.
Information for 12 months (ending July 2007) from the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency's (SFPA) Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) database indicates that there is currently significant fishing activity within the proposed boundary of this site. A 2006 survey of the site by an energy supply company also identifies that there is significant trawling in the site. The Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) report that fishing in this area will include Nephrops trawling, seine netting, single boat demersal trawling, pair trawling and both single boat pelagic and pair pelagic trawling. SFF also indicate the data show that herring followed by haddock are the most important species with significant quantities of cod, monkfish, saithe and whiting. SFPA suggest it may be impossible to construct quantities data given the small size of the area.
Information for 12 months ending July 2007 from the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency's (SFPA) Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) database indicates that there is currently little fishing activity within the proposed boundary of this site. It is possible that this is because there is an obstruction in the area and this is under investigation. SFPA report that fishing in this area will generally be Nephrops (Norway lobster or scampi) trawling by Scottish vessels. There is also some Danish industrial fishing of pout and sand eel, and some pelagic UK, Danish and Swedish vessels targeting mackerel and herring. The SFF indicate that data show that there has been only one day of pelagic fishing in the past three years in the statistical square that the area lies in and that there is a significant number of days by vessels targeting whitefish using single boat demersal gear and demersal pair trawl. SFPA suggest it may be impossible to construct quantities data given the small size of the area.
This area is heavily commercially fished with mixed demersal fisheries and shellfisheries. The majority of beam trawlers are Dutch and Belgian operating around the banks and targeting sole, plaice and possibly cod, skate and rays. There are also some UK beam trawls and UK vessels using static fishing gear. There may be an occasional UK trawler operating in the area. While the area was popular with Grimsby based trawlers many years ago, the decline in that sector has meant that there has been little recorded activity by them in recent times. French stern trawlers work the area for whiting at certain times of the year (according to French fishing industry information).
Vessels targeting shellfish which are based on the coast from Caister to Weybourne, including the Cromer/Sheringham crab and lobster fleet, tend to work fairly close inshore and operate mainly on the inner sandbanks. However some of these vessels will venture further off shore. Wells based potting vessels in North Norfolk are more likely to operate further offshore and in the proposed SAC area. The offshore potters based in Grimsby, Bridlington and Scarborough are active throughout the general area. Some five UK long-liners can work the area, principally for cod, skate and dogfish, though the numbers have declined in recent years, with some of the vessels now concentrating on survey and guardship duties. Data from the Marine Fisheries Agency's Fishery Activity Database (FAD) show that the value of landings of fish caught within the boundary of the proposed site, in England by UK vessels, is £841,000 from beam trawls and £68,000 from other demersal towed gear.
Fishing is known to take place within the site. Information from the Marine Fisheries Agency (MFA) indicates that the area is commercially fished in relation to mixed demersal fisheries, including hake and that there are the following activities:
Netters: Haig Fras is well within range of the netting fleet based at Newlyn. The area is fished by all of the western based static gear netting vessels (12 in number) and all are members of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO). In some cases these vessels are believed to work directly on top of the proposed SAC area. French netters also appear to work in or near Haig Fras at times.
Beam trawlers: There are a number of Newlyn based beam trawlers, probably less than 10, that work around this general area and possibly within part of the proposed SAC site at times. There may be some Belgium and Irish activity here as well, at certain times of the year.
Demersal trawlers: French stern trawlers fish quite widely in the general area around and possibly within Haig Fras for nephrops and demersal species (according to French fishing industry information). A couple of Anglo-Spanish trawlers may also work the area.
Long-liners: A couple of Anglo-Spanish vessels are known to work in the general area.
Data on UK landings in England from the Marine and Fisheries Agency show that the value of demersal fishing to UK vessels is about £230,000. There is also known to be French and Irish demersal trawling.
Information for 12 months ending July 2007 from the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency's (SFPA) Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) database indicates that there is currently significant fishing activity within the proposed boundary of this site, particularly to the north-west of the site. SFPA report that it is fished heavily by vessels based in west coast of Scotland. The site tends to be a seasonal fishery because of weather and as such provides a good fishing area for larger boats during summer months. The effort is nearly all demersal trawling. The main species targeted are Nephrops (Norway lobster or scampi), haddock, hake and monkfish as well as various other species. The West of Scotland Fish Producers Organisation note that their vessels target nephrops and take by-catches of monk, megrim whiting, haddock and hake suing bottom trawls. In addition there is seasonal pelagic boat activity and significant crab fishing. Irish vessels (using both pelagic and demersal gear) also operate in this area; indeed part of the proposed site lies in Irish grey zone where UK-and Irish-claimed fishing limits overlap and there is an agreed system for enforcement. SFPA report that the industry are aware of coral in the area, and that fishermen make an effort to steer clear of it as it damages their nets.
Information for 12 months ending July 2007 from the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency's (SFPA) Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) database indicates that there is currently significant fishing activity in the area. Generally the target species for demersal trawling are blueing, ling, greater fork beard and other associated deep sea species. These are targeted mostly by French (according to French fishing industry information), some UK (Scottish) vessels and possibly Spanish vessels. Given the areas rocky nature, it will generally be larger vessels. French pelagic trawlers also operate in this area. Because this site is adjacent to the recently agreed UK-Faeroese Median Line (S.I. 1999 No. 2031) there remains confusion as to the precise UK/Faeroese fishing limits in practice.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements have been made for birds issued with Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species transaction
specific certificates but removed from Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to be traced by the police for DNA testing when suspected of being wild-taken. 
Joan Ruddock: The UK CITES Management Authority (UKMA) makes every effort to ascertain the legality of acquisition of a bird before issuing a Transaction Specific Certificate. However if information came to the attention of the UKMA after issuing a certificate which led it to doubt the veracity of the original application, it would trace the ownership via the name and address in Box 1 "holder", as the certificate is re-issued every time the bird is used on a commercial basis by a new keeper. Applications for certificates will also contain details of parent birds, if known.
Martin Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of the 11 non-EU species proposed by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee for inclusion in Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 have existing captive populations in the UK; and what assessment he has made of the effects of including these species in Schedule 4 on the risk of wild birds being smuggled into the UK and their subsequent laundering. 
Joan Ruddock: Of the 12 species originally proposed by the JNCC for listing on Schedule 4, nine are non-EU species. Animal Health has issued CITES permits for six species (red-browed amazon, red-tailed amazon, hyacinth macaw, blue-throated macaw, red vented/Philippine cockatoo and Bali starling) in the last 10 years, indicating that these species have been kept in captivity in the UK.
The EU ban on wild bird imports has meant that, other than birds imported for conservation programmes, only captive-bred birds from approved breeding establishments have been permitted for import into the EU. Any import of wild non-EU birds would be contrary to the ban and CITES regulations. I consider that these regulations maintain a satisfactory level of control on any trade in the nine species, and there is no evidence to suggest that these controls do not work.
Martin Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in ensuring that captive populations of species to be removed from Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 are DNA profiled; and what procedures will be put in place to enable such profiles to be used to determine the (a) legitimacy and (b) parentage of birds of such species in the future. 
My Department has no plans to carry out DNA testing on all birds that may be removed from schedule 4. The Department has no evidence to suggest that the population of birds currently listed on schedule 4 is other than from primarily legitimate sources. The cost of DNA testing the whole captive population would be prohibitively expensive and would not be justified by any possible enforcement or conservation
benefit. Any DNA testing to be carried out by Animal Health will be based on a risk and intelligence-led approach.
Modern breeding techniques use artificial insemination from a variety of possible male donors. The movement, and death of many of the birds involved in this process means that any comprehensive testing scheme for all birds subject to registration would simply not be logistically possible.
Martin Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the reasons are for the revision of the criteria used to decide which species should be listed on schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 
Joan Ruddock: The prohibition on the import of wild birds into the EU was extended in July 2007 and with this prohibition likely to remain in force for the foreseeable future, the situation in the commercial trade of wild birds has changed. My Department therefore revised the criteria for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) assessment of species to be listed on schedule 4. The list of species provided by the JNCC was considered in terms of the proportionality of the burden that registration of these species would place on keepers, balancing any conservation benefit that may arise from registration against the regulatory burden imposed by registration.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much was spent on the (a) enforcement of legislation and (b) prosecution of offences relating to illegal waste activity in each of the last five years; 
(i) duty of care inspections;
(ii) fixed penalty notices;
(iii) formal cautions;
(vi) prosecutions; and
(vii) warning letters.
These data have only been available since the year 2006-07. Flycapture records enforcement action that has been carried out with the aim of preventing the illegal disposal of waste, or fly-tipping. It does not record data on all illegal waste activity. In 2006-07, local authorities spent around £24.6 million on enforcement. This figure is calculated using standard costings for different types of enforcement.
Additionally, in recent years, the Environment Agency has typically spent approximately £14 million per annum on the enforcement and prosecution of illegal waste activity. This figure represents the full costs incurred by the Environment Agency and does not take into account any costs they may recover through the courts.
Martin Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for his Department to undertake an impact assessment of amendments to Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will take steps to provide safeguards in relation to the activity of bailiffs for people with mental health problems who are in debt. 
An enhanced and extended certification procedure for those enforcement agents who take control of goods, has been taken forward in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The Act provides for the future compulsory regulation of all enforcement agents who take control of goods, and who are not Crown employees, via an enhanced and extended certification process. There will be a training requirement that will include knowledge of how to deal appropriately with vulnerable debtors.
Having secured the legislation, further public consultation is required to develop the underpinning rules and regulations. A development plan is being completed
during May 2008 that will contain a timetable for implementation, together with a list of issues to be consulted on.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what mechanisms are in place to inform people of their rights in relation to action being taken against them by bailiffs. 
HMCS produce a leaflet, EX345 About Bailiffs and Enforcement Officers, detailing who bailiff and enforcement officers are, how they recover money, the complaints procedure and where to find free and independent advice.
The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, which received Royal Assent on 19 July 2007, introduces a single piece of bailiff law which brings together in one place the legal structure for all warrant enforcement, written in terms that are easily understandable and which clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of creditors, debtors and enforcement agents.
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