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Fish Quotas

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what progress has been made in advising non-profit distributing fish quota trading companies whether the purchase of fish quotas to lease to local or member fishermen is allowed under (a) UK and (b) EU rules; [114022](2) when she expects to advise the Duchy Fish Quota Company whether its business plan to purchase and lease fish quotas

(a) meets EU state aid values, (b) is eligible for European Structural Fund aid, (c) is eligible for UK national Government aid and (d) is eligible to receive public funds from local authorities; [114023]

(3) what advice she has given to local proposals to intervene in the market for fish quotas in order to protect the availability of that quota for fishermen within that locality. [114021]

I am aware that a scheme for quota purchase in Cornwall is under consideration. We have advised the Duchy Fish Quota Company that the use of public funds in schemes for the purchase and lease of fish quota is under examination by the European Commission, for compatibility with state aid rules. We have promised to report to the company the European Commission's conclusions when they are reached.