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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) tonnage and (b) monetary value was of landings at UK ports by EU vessels in 2008 of fish caught in (i) the North Sea and (ii) UK home territorial waters. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Information on the tonnage of fish landings by EU vessels from the North sea as a whole for 2006, the latest year for which such information is available, is provided in the following table.
|Member state||Landings in 2006 (tonnes live weight)|
The value of the fish involved and details of those caught in UK territorial waters is not readily available. Such information can be made available only by contacting the individual member states and third countries concerned. This would include requesting information on the value of catches by vessels of other member states and third countries that fish within that part of the North sea bounded by the UK's 200 mile fisheries limit. However, such information is only available in terms of the totals for the sea areas involved, and only for the quantities of fish involved rather than value. As such, the information requested is not available.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the assessed economic value of fisheries catch in each North Sea fisheries box that falls partly or wholly within the UK's 200 mile zone is. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: To produce the requested information would require information on the value of catches by vessels of other member states and third countries that fish within that part of the North Sea bounded by the UK's 200 mile fisheries limit. However, such information is only available in terms of the totals for the sea areas involved, not at the level of the individual rectangles that make up this area, with these totals only being available for the quantities of fish involved rather than value. As such, the information could only be made available by contacting the individual member states and third countries concerned.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tonnage of (a) lobster, (b) shellfish and (c) shrimp was landed by the UK fishing fleet in the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available. 
|Species||Live weight ( Thousand tonnes)|
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many fishing vessels are operating in UK home territorial waters from EU Eastern European Baltic accession countries that prior to accession fished in the Baltic Sea. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: No fishing vessels from EU Eastern European Baltic accession countries that prior to accession fished in the Baltic Sea are operating in UK territorial waters (within the 12 mile limit).
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which fisheries boxes would fall (a) completely and (b) partially within the UK 200 mile/median maritime control limit in the absence of the common fisheries policy. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and
what tonnage of foreign-registered fishing vessels are operating in UK home fishing waters. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The number of foreign registered fishing vessels operating in the UK 200 mile fishery limit is very fluid and constantly changing in response to fishing opportunities. Their presence is recorded through a combination of obligatory satellite monitoring systems and through sightings of vessels made during aerial and naval reconnaissance activity carried out by, or on behalf of, UK fisheries administrations.
Based on the information collected as above, it is estimated that the number of foreign fishing vessels that operated in the UK 200 mile fishery limit in 2008, produced from sightings and satellite data, was 2,886. Of these, the vast majority (2,321 vessels) were registered fishing vessels from other member states. This includes fishing vessels identified as present within UK fishery limits but not carrying out fishing activities (e.g. Russian registered vessels).
Huw Irranca-Davies: For some time, the Government have been concerned that the Hague Preference mechanism does not provide the necessary support to coastal communities in the UK and Ireland that it was intended to do. We have, therefore, sought to open discussions with the Irish on suitable replacement arrangements. To date, they have been reluctant to engage. We will, however, continue to press them on this, and plan to explore options with the Commission and other member states in due course.
In recent years, we have limited our actions to offsetting the impacts of Irish invocation in the Irish Sea and adjacent areas to ensure the UK fleet is not put at a disadvantage. However, in the December 2007 EU Fisheries Council, we also invoked on both North Sea haddock and whiting, in recognition of the particular importance of these stocks to UK fishermen, and the concerns expressed within the industry that the scientific advice (on which the quotas were based) was somewhat at odds with fishermen's experience on the ground. For the same reasons, we repeated these invocations last December. In both years however, we restricted the scale of our invocations, recognising the concerns of other member states who lose out as a result of our actions.
|UK Quota Pre-HP||UK Quota Post-HP||Gain/Loss|
Huw Irranca-Davies: Keep Britain Tidy (also known as ENCAMS) surveys show that fast food related litter is found in approximately a quarter of sites surveyed across England, with incidences increasing year-on-year.
For this reason, the voluntary code of practice for Food on the Go was developed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of DEFRA, recognising that industry has an important role to play in tackling litter issues. In January 2009, Keep Britain Tidy published results of a survey into the most frequently found brands among fast food litter as part of its latest litter campaign. The results of the survey are available on their website:
DEFRA currently grant-aids £5 million per annum to Keep Britain Tidy to help meet the Government's aim of an improved local environment. DEFRA officials meet regularly with colleagues in Keep Britain Tidy, and Lord Hunt, Minister for local environmental quality, is planning to meet with them in the near future. Each year Ministers also agree priorities for the grant spend.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the economic downturn on employment opportunities in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Evidence shows that the economic downturn is likely to affect urban and rural areas. DEFRA is working closely with the regional development agencies and the Commission for Rural Communities, as well as with those Departments with policy responsibility, i.e. BERR and DWP, to make sure that the National Economic Council has access to high quality intelligence regarding the economic situation in rural areas.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of current North Sea (a) haddock, (b) cod, (c) herring and (d) plaice total allowable catch comes from boxes which fall (i) completely and (ii) partially within the UK 200 mile limit. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The information requested is not available. The process for the production of estimates of total allowable catch (TAC) for each stock involves the scientific assessment of the state of the stock at the level of the overall sea areas covered by each stock definition. As such, the process does not incorporate any apportionment, or derivation, of the TAC at the level of detail of the individual fisheries rectangles within the sea areas involved.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission research on the effects of the introduction of surface area water charges for churches, community and voluntary groups which own property used exclusively to further their causes. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Government are aware of the problem of affordability faced by some customers as a result of the switch to site area charging for surface water drainage and are looking at what can be done.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what response his Department has made to representations made by sports clubs affected by increases in charges following the revision of the surface water charging element. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Ministers have received a range of representations from sports clubs about the move from charging based on rateable value to site area charging for surface water drainage. The Government are aware of the affordability issues faced by some customers as a result of the switch to site area charging and are currently reviewing their position. While the issue is under consideration, letters will continue to be acknowledged, and I will respond in full in due course.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 13 January 2009, Official Report, columns
612-13W, on water companies: flood control, what powers local authorities will have in circumstances where water companies do not co-operate, share information or take action which an authority considers to be necessary. 
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