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Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 335ZC:


Page 164, line 2, at end insert:

("Interpretation

A1. In this Schedule—
"local statutory provision" means—
(a) a provision of a local Act (including an Act confirming a provisional order);
(b) a provision of so much of any public general Act as has effect with respect to particular persons or works or with respect to particular provisions falling within any paragraph of this definition;
(c) a provision of an instrument made under any provision falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above;
(d) a provision of any other instrument which is in the nature of a local enactment;
"the Minister" means the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food;
"subordinate legislation" has the same meaning as in the Interpretation Act 1978;
"the transfer date" has the same meaning as in Part I of this Act.
General modifications of references to the National Rivers Authority

A2.—(1) Subject to—
(a) the following provisions of this Schedule,
(b) the provisions of sections 84 to 86 of this Act, and
(c) any repeal made by this Act,
any provision to which this paragraph applies which contains, or falls to be construed as containing, a reference (however framed and whether or not in relation to an area) to the National Rivers Authority shall have effect on and after the transfer date as if that reference were a reference to the Agency.
(2) Sub-paragraph (1) above is subject to paragraph 1(2) (a) of Schedule 17 to the Water Act 1989 (references in certain local statutory provisions or subordinate legislation to the area of a particular water authority to have effect as references to the area which, immediately before the transfer date within the meaning of that Act, was the area of that authority for the purposes of their functions relating to fisheries).
(3) Subject as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) above, any provision to which this paragraph applies which contains, or falls to be construed as containing, a reference (however framed) to the whole area in relation to which the National Rivers Authority carries out its functions in relation to fisheries shall have effect on and after the transfer date as if that reference were a reference to the whole area in relation to which the Agency carries out its functions relating to fisheries.
(4) The provisions to which this paragraph applies are the provisions of—
(a) the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966;
(b) the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975; and
(c) any local statutory provision or subordinate legislation which is in force immediately before the transfer date and—
(i) relates to the carrying out by the National Rivers Authority of any function relating to fisheries; or
(ii) in the case of subordinate legislation, was made by virtue of any provision to which this paragraph applies or under the Diseases of Fish Act 1937.

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(5) The modifications made by this paragraph shall be subject to any power by subordinate legislation to revoke or amend any provision to which this paragraph applies; and, accordingly, any such power, including the powers conferred by section 102 of this Act and paragraph A3 below, shall be exercisable so as to exclude the operation of this paragraph in relation to the provisions in relation to which the power is conferred.
Power to amend subordinate legislation etc.

A3.—(1) If it appears to the Minister or the Secretary of State to be appropriate to do so for the purposes of, or in consequence of, the coming into force of any provision of this Schedule, he may by order revoke or amend any subordinate legislation.
(2) An order under this paragraph may—
(a) make different provision for different cases, including different provision in relation to different persons, circumstances or localities; and
(b) contain such supplemental, consequential and transitional provision as the Minister or the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
(3) The power conferred by virtue of this paragraph in relation to subordinate legislation made under any enactment shall be without prejudice to any other power to revoke or amend subordinate legislation made under that enactment, but—
(a) no requirement imposed with respect to the exercise of any such other power shall apply in relation to any revocation or amendment of that legislation by an order under this paragraph; and
(b) the power to make an order under this paragraph shall be exercisable (instead of in accordance with any such requirement) by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
The Diseases of Fish Act 1937

A4.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, in the Diseases of Fish Act 1937—
(a) any reference which to any extent is, or falls to be construed as, a reference to the National Rivers Authority shall have effect, in relation to the area which by virtue of section 6(7) of this Act is the area in relation to which the Agency carries out functions under that Act, as a reference to the Agency; and
(b) references to an area (including references which fall to be construed as references to the area which by virtue of subsection (6) of section 2 of the Water Resources Act 1991 is the area in relation to which the National Rivers Authority carries out functions under the said Act of 1937), in relation to the Agency, shall have effect as references to the area described in paragraph (a) above.
(2) In section 8(3) of the said Act of 1937 (offences in relation to the Esk) for the words "National Rivers Authority" there shall be substituted the words "Environment Agency".
(3) Nothing in this paragraph or in that Act shall authorise the Agency to take legal proceedings in Scotland in respect of any offence.
The Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966

A5.—(1) The provisions of section 1 of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966 (establishment of fisheries committees) which provide that an order under that section modifying a previous such order is to be made only on such an application and after such consultation as is mentioned in that section shall not apply to an order under that section which contains a statement that the only provision made by the order is provision which appears to the Minister making the order to be appropriate in consequence of any of the provisions of this Act.
(2) In section 2(2) of that Act (constitution of local fisheries committee) for the words "the National Rivers Authority" there shall be substituted the words "the Environment Agency".

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(3) In section 18(3) of that Act (provision where a water authority or harbour authority have the powers of a local fisheries committee) for the words "National Rivers Authority)" there shall be substituted the words "Environment Agency)".
The Sea Fish (Conservation) Act 1967

A6. In section 18(1) of the Sea Fish (Conservation) Act 1967 (enforcement of orders relating to salmon and migratory trout)—
(a) for the words "subsection (6) of section 2 of the Water Resources Act 1991" there shall be substituted the words "subsection (7) of section 6 of the Environment Act 1995"; and
(b) for the words "the National Rivers Authority" there shall be substituted the words "the Environment Agency".").

The noble Earl said: I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 335ZD:


Page 164, line 7, at end insert:
(" . In section 6(3) of that Act (definition of "unauthorised fixed engine") in paragraph (d) for the words "the National Rivers Authority" there shall be substituted the words "the Agency".").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Viscount Mills moved Amendment No. 335A:


Page 165, line 7, at end insert:
(" . In Section 14 of that Act there shall be added after the word "mill" so often as it appears the words "or fish farm".").

The noble Viscount said: The noble Lord, Lord Moran, regrets that he cannot be here today due to illness. He telephoned me this morning to ask me to propose Amendment No. 335A on his behalf. I am very glad to do so.

There has been a proliferation of fish farms in England and Wales during the past 20 years, to raise both rainbow trout for table consumption and brown trout for stocking. Many fish farms are situated adjacent to rivers containing wild populations of trout and also salmon and sea-trout. Many fish farms also take advantage of leats to obtain their water supply; both old leats which formerly served mills and new purpose-built ones.

Both the NRA and riparian owners have recorded instances where wild fish have entered these leats and have become entrapped. That is a problem which can be avoided if screens are inserted to prevent fish entering into the leat. However, at present, Section 14 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 allows the NRA to compel only the owners of mill leats or conduits and artificial channels used for the purposes of a water or canal undertaking to install screens to prevent such problems. No such powers exist in relation to fish farms.

At the time when the 1975 Act was passed there were relatively few fish farms. Now that many more exist there is an urgent need to amend Section 14 to include fish farms. The need for such provisions has been recognised for some considerable time and there can be no doubt that the amendment of the noble Lord Lord Moran, would help to protect wild salmonid stocks.

However, I should also like to highlight two further issues as regards this amendment. First, concerning the timing of its introduction, there needs to be a reasonable "lead-in" time before any new regulations are enforced. The new agency should be allowed time to identify the

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design and location of any such gratings and time to allow fish farming interests to make the necessary preparations for their installation.

The second and possibly more important issue concerns an additional reason for gratings at the inlets and outlets from fish farms; namely, to keep farmed fish in as well as to keep wild fish out. The escape of farmed fish, especially of rainbow trout, is of considerable concern to both the NRA and riparian owners. Farmed fish in the wild may not only disturb the natural ecological balance, but also they are regarded by many anglers as being a nuisance.

I fear that the amendment, as drafted, may not overcome that problem because, while screens of a particular size across outfalls will prevent relatively large fish from migrating upstream into the farm, these would not prevent small juvenile farmed fish from migrating downstream via the same route.

Can my noble friend the Minister confirm whether the amendment as presently drafted will meet my concern? If not, will he possibly consider a modification to the amendment to overcome this additional problem which I have outlined? However, even without such a modification, this amendment will go a very long way towards protecting wild salmonid stocks. I beg to move.


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