Skip to main content

Marine Fisheries Agency

Volume 447: debated on Monday 5 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his written statement of 16 May 2006, Official Report, column 48WS, on the Marine Fisheries Agency performance targets 2006-07, what measures the agency has in place to monitor the quota stocks target; and what the risk weightings referred to are. (73392)

The Marine Fisheries Agency, along with other fisheries administrations in the UK, operates systems as required by EU legislation to monitor and control the activity of UK fishing vessels to ensure quotas allocated to the UK are not exceeded. This involves maintaining dedicated systems for the collection and collation of information from vessel logbooks and landing declarations, as well as information from sales notes from registered buyers and sellers of fish. The information from UK systems is collated to produce reports on the level of uptake of quotas that are updated on a daily or weekly basis as appropriate. These reports are used by fisheries administrations, producer organisations and other groups in the UK to manage the individual quota allocations during each year. Monthly reports are provided to the European Commission, with measures also in place to check and validate information received by the Commission from other member states on landings by UK vessels outside the UK. The agency takes management action, as necessary, to control or close activity in particular fisheries to ensure quotas limits are complied with.

The risk weightings relate to enforcement of sea fisheries legislation. The Marine Fisheries Agency aims to deploy 60 per cent. of its inspection and enforcement resources to high risk fisheries, 30 per cent. to medium risk and 10 per cent. to low risk. The specific risk weightings take account of a number of factors, including the nature of the fishery, the area and the type of fishing activity. For instance, we would consider vessels fishing in an area and for a species for which specific recovery measures have been introduced to be classified as ‘high risk’. The agency is developing a computer model to assist in analysing a wide range of factors to determine compliance risks in fisheries for the medium to long term so that its resources can be deployed and utilised to best effect.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) under and (b) over 10 metre licences were issued by the Marine Fisheries Agency in each year since 1997. (73393)

The following table sets out the number of licences issued to fishing vessels administered in England and Wales by (a) vessels of 10 metres and under in length, and (b) vessels of over 10 metres in length.

(a) 10 metres and under

(b) over 10 metres

1997

0

1,000

1998

3,342

1,070

1999

0

938

2000

3,203

890

2001

0

842

2002

3,041

805

2003

0

731

2004

3,004

696

2005

0

656

2006

n/a

649

Licences for fishing vessels over 10 metres in length were issued annually. Since 1996 licences for vessels of 10 metres and under in length have been issued biennially. Licences for fishing vessels of 10 metres and under in length will be issued again in June 2006.

Licences for vessels in Scotland and Northern Ireland were issued by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development respectively.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many 10 metre licences have been issued by the Marine Fisheries Agency. (73394)

In December 2005 the Marine Fisheries Agency issued licences for 649 fishing vessels of over 10 metres in length administered in England and Wales.

Licences for fishing vessels in Scotland and Northern Ireland were issued by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development respectively.