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Marine and Fisheries Agency

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which functions of the Marine and Fisheries Agency are dependent on the Agency’s location; and for what reasons in each case. (241136)

The Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) currently operates from 18 offices around the coast of England and a HQ office in London. DEFRA intends for the functions delivered by the MFA to be taken on by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) as proposed in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill published on 5 December.

There are no functions of the MFA HQ which are dependent on the location. Careful consideration is currently being given to the most suitable location for the MMO’s HQ, which will also comprise the existing coastal offices of the MFA. The criteria being used to identify a suitable location include identifying marine stakeholder clusters to promote close relationships with users and regulators in the marine area, and universities with marine specialisations.

No decision has been taken on the location of the MMO HQ or the timing of any move. However, DEFRA is working hard to ensure continued effective services are provided during the transition to the MMO, and beyond.