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Common Agricultural Policy

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether steps are being taken in the context of the review of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and Structural Funds to move towards a fairer funding distribution between urban and rural and agricultural interests. [73994]

Mr. Morley: Common Agricultural Policy payments are made to producers and exporters on the basis of set eligibility criteria, regardless of whether they are from urban or rural areas. There are many traders in urban areas who receive CAP export subsidies. But by definition, the majority of recipients of direct production subsidy payments are from rural areas. Structural Funds are distributed on the basis of need: in the case of Objective 1 the criterion is an area whose population earns less than 75 per cent. of the EU average income. This applies equally between urban and rural areas.

Flood Defences

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 22 July 2002, Official Report, columns 704–05W, on flood defences, on what basis her Department keeps financial records for expenditure incurred on flood defences in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [73656]

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Mr. Morley: Flood management is a devolved responsibility. Records are kept of grant payments (and, for local authorities, supplementary credit approvals) made by this Department directly to the flood and coastal defence operating authorities (Environment Agency, local authorities and Internal Drainage Boards) in England only. They are recorded at the level of individual payments and payee (in the case of the EA this is at Flood Defence Committee level) and the project to which they relate. It is possible to group payments, to total expenditure on a particular project, for all local authorities or on coast protection schemes for example, where the Department's payments database supports this.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) records revenue payments made by local authorities on flood and coastal defence for the purpose of paying Revenue Support Grant—the other mechanism by which the Government provides funding for flood and coastal defence works. Neither this Department nor the ODPM categorises payments in ways that might have assisted me to answer your previous Question and neither does the main operating authority, the Environment Agency. The Department does not routinely record other expenditure (by the operating authorities or other riparian owners).

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions (a) have taken and (b) are due to take place between (i) her Department and (ii) the Government and the Association of British Insurers regarding insurance of householders on identified flood plains; and if she will make a statement; [73508]

Mr. Morley: There have been regular Ministerial and Official level meetings between Defra, Environment Agency, HM Treasury and Association of British Insurers (ABI) to address this issue. Meetings and discussions will continue over the coming months.

We continue to work very closely with the Environment Agency and ABI to build a mutual understanding of flood risk. This will help develop a shared understanding with the insurance industry of the true risks of flooding in particular areas, taking account not only of the indicative flood plain but also the current and future provision of flood defences, and help achieve the mutual aim of ensuring the continued availability of affordable flood cover as widely as possible after the end of the year.

Fisheries

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the letter of 14 August, Ref 172597/JD to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, what monitoring has been done of the safeguards in the Protocol with Mauritania to protect fish resources off the West African Coast. [74196]

Mr. Morley: The first meeting of the Joint Committee provided for under the EU/Mauritania Fisheries Protocol took place in June, at which the

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implementation of the new 2001/2006 Protocol during its first year was reviewed. A joint scientific working party was established to examine the state of the stocks and report to the Joint Committee before 1 November 2002.

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the letter to the hon. Member for Linlithgow of 14 August, Ref 172597/JD, what action she has taken during discussions on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy to seek a requirement that every bilaterial fisheries agreement should be accompanied by a rigorous stock assessment and conditional on an environmental and social impact assessment. [74197]

Mr. Morley: These are matters that we shall pursue when the Commission brings forward into the CFP reform discussions the relevant elements of its proposed Strategy for European distant-water fisheries, as foreseen in the Commission's ''roadmap'' communication on the reform of CFP issued on 28 May 2002.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is towards the transfer of fish from a trawler at sea onto a storage vessel for transportation to port. [73860]

Mr. Morley: The transhipment of fish stocks, subject to quota, between Community fishing vessels and receiving vessels has to be notified to the competent authorities of the Member States concerned in accordance with provisions of Article 11 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2847/93, as amended. Separately the Receiving of Trans-Shipped Sea Fish (Licensing) Order 1982, as amended, prohibit the trans-shipment of pelagic sea fish onto non-fishing vessels within British fishery limits unless the receiving vessel is licensed. For the purposes of this Order pelagic sea fish are defined as mackerel, herring, sprats, pilchards and horse mackerel. Additionally UK fishing vessel licences prohibit the transhipment of any fish between under 10 and over 10 metre vessels.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her policy towards inclusion of the issue of fishing quota-capping in the next InterGovernmental Conference. [73823]

Mr. Morley: Since 1 January 1999, and with the agreement of the European Commission, all vessels fishing against UK quotas have to maintain a genuine economic link with coastal communities in the UK. We have no plans to raise the issue at the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will make a statement on the status of negotiations on the 12 mile derogation, with particular reference to the timescale; [73870]

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Mr. Morley: A Council Working Group of officials from EU Member States has been meeting in Brussels to consider the Commission's proposals for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. No one has attempted to link the 12 mile derogation to other issues.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate she has made of the size of the UK fishing workforce (a) within the fleet and (b) in dependent industries. [73868]

Mr. Morley: The most recent information available on the numbers of fishermen in the United Kingdom are for the situation in 2000 as drawn from surveys carried out by the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency in Scotland. The survey showed a total of 14,645 fishermen in the UK in 2001.

It is difficult to estimate the level of employment in dependent industries. This is due to it being difficult to define accurately which industries are involved, and in many cases these industries are not uniquely dependent on the fishing industry. The Department and the Sea Fish Industry Authority are currently jointly carrying out research into the relationship between jobs in fishing and jobs in the rest of the UK economy, with the results expected to be available within the next two to three months.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many UK fisheries vessels there are in each port of anchorage; and what proportion of them are foreign-owned. [73869]

Mr. Morley: At 30 June 2002 there were some 7020 licensed UK fishing vessels. Comprehensive information about the beneficial ownership of UK fishing vessels is no longer maintained. However it is estimated that some 117 vessels are wholly or partly foreign owned. A significant proportion of the fleet is nomadic and it is not practical to break down the above numbers in terms of ports of anchorage.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total tonnage was of the (a) white water and (b) blue water fishing fleet of the UK in (i) 1972, (ii) 1997 and (iii) 2002; how many vessels there were; and how many personnel were employed at sea. [73858]

Mr. Morley: The information requested, where available, is given in the table below. The white water fleet has been taken as those UK fishing vessels that are 10 metres or less in overall length, with the blue water fleet taken as those UK fishing vessels greater than 10 metres overall length. Data on the numbers of fishermen is not available in terms of type of vessel, only on the basis of those employed full time or part time, which is given in the table.

Available vessel data for 1972 are not comparable with data for later years. Statistics for the active fleet in 1972 understate the overall size of the fleet; the registered fleet exceeded the active fleet by about 3,000 vessels in 1990 when the earlier statistical series was replaced. Similarly, the basis used to measure the tonnage of vessels in 1972 (Gross Registered Tonnage)

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is not comparable with that used in later years (Gross Tonnage), and generally results in smaller estimates of the tonnage of vessels.


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