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Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when and by what means stakeholders will be consulted on the Operational Efficiency Programme of British Waterways. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: British Waterways, the principal stakeholder, is a member of the review team and as such will automatically be involved in the development of the Operational Efficiency Programme review. The study is underway and options are still being developed. DEFRA and British Waterways are happy to receive stakeholders' views to feed them into the review.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department plans to take to tackle problems arising from dangerous dogs in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The Government are developing guidance for those responsible for the enforcement of the law on dangerous dogs in conjunction with the Association of Chief Police Officers, local authorities and the RSPCA. This follows on from DEFRAs consultation with the police which suggested that the existing law did not need changing but that more guidance was needed.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to launch the new collaborative centre for the understanding of natural and environmental risks. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will establish the new collaborative centre for the understanding of natural and environmental risks in the near future; and if he will make a statement. 
Fish per week: 165.18 grams per person
Fish and fish products per week: 13.19 grams per person
Combined grams/person/week: 178.37
Million grams/pop/year: 554085.1708
Million tonnes: 0.554
0.55 Million tonnes
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to enforce the regulations of marine conservation zones in respect of the conservation and management of fish stocks targeted by non-UK flagged vessels beyond the six and 12 mile zones. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Marine conservation zones (MCZs) will primarily be protected via existing regulatory regimes. A series of duties placed on public authorities will ensure that those authorities take account of the likely impacts on MCZs of their own actions, and of the activities for which they have responsibility for granting consent.
We will also provide a mechanism to allow the Marine Management Organisation (or, in respect of Welsh territorial waters the Welsh Ministers) to control activities that are otherwise unregulated, where they pose a threat to the achievement of a site's objectives.
Where there is evidence to demonstrate that fisheries need to be controlled or restricted in order to further the conservation objectives for a site, the Bill places a duty on inshore fisheries and conservation agencies to take appropriate measures within their areas. Beyond six nautical miles we will pursue the introduction of measures through the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the EU on the designation of marine conservation zones as envisaged in the Marine Bill. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: There have been no recent discussions between my Department and the European Commission or my European counterparts on the designation of marine conservation zones (MCZ) as envisaged in the Marine Bill. However, the MCZ mechanism will enable us to work with statutory nature conservation advisors, environmental groups, fishermen and other stakeholders to select sites for the conservation of biodiversity.
Our strategy is to identify the areas that we want to protect, get the protection in place for the activities we control and seek to secure protection from activities such as fishing through international agreements such as the CFP.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which 10 UK fishing ports had the greatest (a) number of home fishing vessels and (b) volume of landings in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Home port||Number of vessels|
|Port of landing||Thousand tonnes (live weight)|
|Number of regular and part-time fishermen on UK registered vessels in 2005 by age breakdown|
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of people who are (a) directly and (b) indirectly employed by the UK fishing fleet. 
The UK Sea Fish Industry Authority (SEAFISH) has published an analysis (in January 2008) that estimates that if the whole of the sea fishing sector were removed, a total of around 29,000 full-time equivalent jobs would be lost initially, including the 12,700 catching jobs, dependent upstream and downstream jobs and jobs in the wider economy which depend indirectly on these jobs.
Estimating the number of related jobs onshore whose existence can be attributed at least in part to the UK catching sector alone is complicated by the high levels of imported fish upon which jobs in our processing sector depend. Around 90 per cent. of whitefish processed within the EU is sourced from outside EU waters. SEAFISH estimates that there are around 15,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the UK fish-processing sector.
UK fisheries laboratories send observers to sea to record the quantity of fish discarded and retained by fishing vessels. This sampling is intended to provide estimates of discards of the main commercial species. It is only possible to sample a small proportion of fishing trips in this way. For this reason the sampling effort tends to be focused on those fisheries which are of
relatively large scale, and which usually involve some discarding. There are a large number of fisheries which are small in scale and/or involve little or no discarding, which are not routinely sampled. These include many shellfish fisheries, fisheries for pelagic species such as mackerel and herring, and in particular inshore fisheries involving vessels less than 10 metres in length. Vessels in this latter category form the majority of the UK fishing fleet. As a result, estimates of discards given as weight per vessel may not be representative. Estimates of discards by UK vessels for some important fish stocks are given for 1998 to 2007 (where available), and numbers of fishing vessels registered in the UK over the same period are given in the following tables.
|Estimated discards of North sea stocks by vessels registered in Scotland (Sco) and England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EWN), 1998 to 2007|
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