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Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many pilot projects have been established by European Union member states following the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, “Promoting more environmentally-friendly fishing methods: the role of technical conservation measures” (COM(2004) 438 final), dated 21 June 2004; and if he will make a statement. (142282)

Since the release of the communication, the UK has developed two discard pilot projects. The first focused on improving selectivity in the north east coast prawn fishery. I have arranged for a copy of the report of this project to be laid in the Library of the House. The second, for which the details are still being finalised, will be a project run jointly with the Irish Government, which will look at discarding across a range of fisheries in the Irish Sea.

Details of pilot projects undertaken by other member states are not available.