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Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assistance his Department is giving the commercial sea fishing industry to improve the fuel efficiency of its vessels. 
Jonathan Shaw: In 2005-06, DEFRA funded a £20,000 study by SEAFISH on how fishing vessels could reduce their fuel consumption. The results of that study are available to the industry, and advice on what vessel owners can do to improve efficiency is widely available from SEAFISH.
£71 million of grants through the European Fisheries Fund will come on stream in autumn. A significant proportion of these funds will be targeted to support the industry in adapting to higher fuel prices, including through increasing fuel efficiency.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 1 July 2008, Official Report, column 733W, on food supply, under what circumstances the Government would seek to access food stocks identified by his Departments database. 
Jonathan Shaw: The food supply chain is robust due to the high degree of substitutability of food stuffs and the range of options available when one element of the supply chain is disrupted. This flexibility arises from a combination of domestic production and the multiplicity of trading and transport options that exist.
In the event of a disruption to the food supply, DEFRA would work closely with the food industry to deal with the situation. The information held in the database allows DEFRA to better represent the food industry in any discussions with other Government Departments during incidents which could impact on the industry. However, it is not possible to speculate in advance on the Governments future actions.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 1 July 2008, Official Report, column 733W, on food supply, what stocks are held which are not part of the existing food distribution chain. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the presentation and handouts produced by his Department's representative at the conference on GIS in the Public Sector held in London on 14 May 2008. 
Jonathan Shaw: The presentation made by DEFRA at the GIS in the Public Sector conference on the 14 May was part of a joint presentation with the Local Government Association. A more up-to-date presentation from DEFRASeeing the bigger picture: Mapping out a vision of INSPIREwas made at the European Commission's INSPIRE Conference held in Slovenia from 23 to 25 June. It is publicly available on the conference website at:
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has made an assessment of the effects of the Hunting Act 2004 on (a) rural employment, (b) the rural economy and (c) the numbers of (i) fox hounds and (ii) horses. 
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Minister of State plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire dated 13 June 2008, about the dog rental company, FlexPetz. 
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on wildlife management and conservation in each of the last five years, broken down by main budget heading. 
Expenditure on UK Biodiversity forms one of the suite of indicators which DEFRA publishes on behalf of the UK Biodiversity Partnership in Biodiversity Indicators in your pocket. Available information based on that underpinning the indicator is provided in the following table. The figures represent programme spend only and do not capture staff costs in non-departmental public bodies funded by the Department through grant-in-aid. Staff in these organisations also contribute significantly to wildlife management and conservation through their various activities, including for example, provision of advice. Furthermore, a number
of other programmes have also contributed approximately £10 million per annum to the total budget.
DEFRAs expenditure on biodiversity has approximately doubled in real terms over the last five years. The majority of this comes from agri-environment expenditure. £3.9 billion of agri-environment funding has been secured for England for the period 2007-13, much of which will be targeted at biodiversity. Other contributions also arise from other organisations such as the Royal Botanical GardensKew, who for example, will receive £17.6 million in grant-in-aid this year.
|Public sector expenditure on biodiversity schemes|
|current prices, £ million( 1)|
|2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07||2007-08( p)||2008-09 (budget)( 2)|
|n/a = Data not yet available.|
(1) The estimates cover DEFRA family non-administration expenditure related to biodiversity in England and globally.
(2) Where data are provided for 2007-08 and the 2008-09 budget was not available, the 2007-08 estimate has been carried forward.
(3) This represents total scheme expenditure, of which a major share is judged to be spent on biodiversity schemes.
(4) Environmentally sensitive areas and countryside stewardship schemes.
(5) Darwin initiative budget has been reduced in 2008-09 to balance overspend in 2007-08.
(6) Data are provisional or have been assumed to be carried forward.
(7) Based on DEFRA share of grant-in-aid expenditure on environmental protection.
(8) The Natural England contribution to JNCC has been excluded to avoid duplication.
(9) Expenditure shown is based on the income contribution from DEFRA and Natural England as a proportion of total income.
(10) See note 3. Note that Forestry Commission expenditure includes both grant aid to woodland owners and expenditure on the public forest estate.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the administration of environmental stewardship schemes cost Natural England in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by scheme; and whether this cost is met from (a) funding under the England Rural Development Programme and (b) within his Departments Natural Environment budget 
We do not record administration costs associated with different schemes separately. Our estimate is that administration costs associated with each scheme is as follows: Entry Level Stewardship/Organic Entry Level Stewardship (£9.6 million) and Higher Level Stewardship (£32.0 million).
The cost of administering the schemes is not met from the £2.9 billion over the current seven-year period allocated to RDPE for making scheme payments to landmanagers. It comes from Natural Englands grant in aid funding.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for promoting greater use of the River Thames for (a) passenger and (b) freight traffic; what estimate he has made of the amount of (i) passenger and (ii) freight traffic on the River Thames in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Environment Agency is working with Sea and Water, the Inland Waterways Advisory Council and the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities to further the potential for the growth of freight across their waterways.
The Environment Agency promotes the River Thames as a leisure destination through a tourism marketing partnership under the River Thames brand. It promotes passenger boats as a leisure experience and an alternative form of transport through this partnership.
The Environment Agency is the navigation authority for the non-tidal River Thames (source to Teddington) and registered the following number of passenger boats for use on the non-tidal Thames from 1990 to 2008.
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