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Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of trends in the populations of pollinating insects in the last five years; 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Trend data do not exist for all invertebrates, but have been collated for some groups, especially the more iconic ones, such as butterflies and bees. Only the longer term data sets can give a meaningful picture of the changes in trends rather than shorter term fluctuations.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which functions of the Marine and Fisheries Agency are dependent on the Agencys location; and for what reasons in each case. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) currently operates from 18 offices around the coast of England and a HQ office in London. DEFRA intends for the functions delivered by the MFA to be taken on by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) as proposed in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill published on 5 December.
There are no functions of the MFA HQ which are dependent on the location. Careful consideration is currently being given to the most suitable location for the MMOs HQ, which will also comprise the existing coastal offices of the MFA. The criteria being used to identify a suitable location include identifying marine stakeholder clusters to promote close relationships with users and regulators in the marine area, and universities with marine specialisations.
No decision has been taken on the location of the MMO HQ or the timing of any move. However, DEFRA is working hard to ensure continued effective services are provided during the transition to the MMO, and beyond.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the effect on the Marine Management Organisations operations of relocating its headquarters outside London. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: A significant part of the operational work undertaken by Marine Fisheries Agency (MFA) HQ is to meet EU obligations, and the effective transition provided by the skeleton body will help avoid the possibility of infraction if the organisation is unable to meet these requirements. A Marine Management Organisation (MMO) skeleton body will be set up to start running from autumn 2009 to run in parallel with the MFA until 31 March 2010 to mitigate any risks arising as a result of relocating.
To ensure there is no loss in knowledge and skills from the MFA between now and autumn 2009, I will be announcing a decision on the MMO HQs location as soon as possible. This is to ensure that existing staff work closely with both the MFAs senior management team and the MMO implementation team to capture knowledge and pass it to MMO staff who will begin to populate the skeleton body.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many new jobs there will be for local people in each of the new locations of the Marine Management Organisation; and how much each such job will cost to create as a proportion of the total costs of the move. 
When it is clearer how many staff will relocate and, therefore, how many new people will need to be recruited, my officials will be able to start a recruitment exercise. In order to attract the best possible pool of talent for the Marine Management Organisation, this will not necessarily be restricted to recruiting locally.
Huw Irranca-Davies: Seal conservation is a devolved issue, so I will answer with respect to England only. Seals are protected in England by the Conservation of Seals Act 1970. Under the 1970 Act it is an offence to take or kill common and grey seals out of season.
The 1970 Act also allows the Secretary of State if it appears necessary for the proper conservation of seals, to prohibit by way of an order the killing, injuring or taking of either or both the above seal species in any area specified in the order. There is currently such an order (The Conservation of Seals (England) Order 1999) protecting common and grey seals on the East coast of England in order to allow the numbers to recover from the Phocine Distemper Virus (PDV) outbreaks of 1988 and 2002 which greatly reduced the common seal population on the east coast of England.
Several marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) have been created around the UK to specifically protect, among other species, common and grey seals. Within SACs, competent authorities have to take appropriate steps to avoid significant disturbance to the species concerned or deterioration of their habitat.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the effects of shipping noise on (a) whales, (b) dolphins, (c) porpoises and (d) other aquatic animals; 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The UK Government are concerned about the potential impact of undersea noise on cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and the wider marine environment, and have taken action on a number of issues in this respect.
In October 2004, DEFRA commissioned research assessing the feasibility of examining the ears of stranded dead cetaceans to determine whether they show any signs of damage due to marine noise. A report on the findings of this research was published in November 2006 and showed that of the three sets of cetacean ears
examined in detail, none had evidence of acoustic trauma. It went on to outline the technical problems associated with examining cetacean ears for the effects of marine noise. A copy of the report is available on the Science pages of the DEFRA website at
In November 2005, the UK supported the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Resolution 8.22 on adverse human induced impacts on cetaceans, which included requesting the CMS Secretariat and Scientific Council to review the extent to which CMS and CMS cetacean-related agreements are addressing various human induced impacts, including marine noise.
DEFRA was also part of an Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (IACMST) working group on Underwater Sound and Marine Life. This working group prepared a report detailing what steps were needed in light of present information, in order to achieve a regulatory framework for the control of sound in the marine environment. This report can be found on the IACMST website at
More recently, the Government have provided funding towards work on cetacean distribution and abundance in European Atlantic offshore waters. The information collected as part of this project is intended to assist in making an assessment of the different threats to cetaceans, including seismic activity. We anticipate the final report to be available by early 2009, and we hope that it will help to inform what mitigation measures may be required for the protection of cetaceans.
In order to improve our understanding of the scale and impacts of human derived noise occurring in the marine environment, the Department also intends to complete a call for research proposals in early 2009. This call will be to identify and take forward research on assessing the current status of marine noise occurring in the marine environment, including shipping, and assessing what the impacts are on marine life.
DEFRA, in line with its commitments under both ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas) and the Habitats Directive (Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora, Council Directive 92/43/EEC), also supports a long running contract with the Natural History Museum examining causes of mortality in stranded cetaceans and marine turtles around the UK. This research helps to inform what factors, e.g. disease, malnutrition, may be affecting the populations of cetaceans in UK waters.
In addition, The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) is funding two projects by consultants, Subacoustech Limitedestimating, measuring and controlling the environmental effects of man-made noise on the marine environment, and a feasibility and demonstration study on the active and passive detection of marine mammals.
Using powers contained in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, the Government plan to designate Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) which will form part of an ecological coherent network of marine protected areas around the UK. MCZs will be designated to protect habitats and species of national importance and will be protected through new duties being placed on public authorities. Where the achievement of the conservation
objectives for an MCZ requires marine noise to be controlled, the competent authority will have duties to that effect.
The impacts of marine noise on the wider environment will also be taken into account through decisions made using the new marine planning system and licensing process as proposed in the Bill, and as required under section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. The Government consider that the proposals contained in the Bill, together with existing legislation, will provide the necessary powers to control marine noise where it poses a risk to valuable marine wildlife.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the charge will be for registering a change of (a) name, (b) marital status and (c) address under the proposed national identity card scheme. 
Meg Hillier: Martial status will not be recorded on the National Identity Register. As such, a need to update marital status does not arise. It is currently expected that a change of address on an individuals record on the National Identity Register will not incur a fee.
For a change of name, or any change that would require a replacement identity card to be issued, it is proposed that the initial fee for a replacement card will be £30 in 2009 and 2010, subject to an evaluation phase at relevant airports where the fee may be waived for airside workers who are required to enrol on the National Identity Register and are issued with an identity card.
To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate his
Department has made of the number of apprenticeships taken up in (a) Wandsworth and (b) London in each month since January 2006, broken down by apprenticeship type. 
Mr. Simon: Table 1 shows the number of apprenticeship starts in the region of London from January 2006 to July 2007, by the month in which the apprenticeship started. Figures are presented up to the end of the 2006-07 academic year, the latest year for which fully audited data are available.
|Table 1: Apprenticeship starts in London by month of start for January 2006 to July 2007|
|Month apprenticeship started||Advanced apprenticeship||Apprenticeship||Total|
1. Figures for advanced apprenticeships include a small number of higher level apprenticeships.
2. Figures may not sum to totals due to rounding.
3. Local authority and region is based on learner's home postcode.
WBL ILR 2005-06 and 2006-07
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