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Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will meet representatives of the small and under-10 metre fishing fleet from the Thames Estuary and East Anglia Coast to discuss his Department’s policy on inshore fishing. (259609)

Following the December announcement on a package of measures designed to bring short-term stability to the English inshore fleet, a project—Sustainable Access to Inshore Fisheries (SAIF)—is now under way in DEFRA to develop a strategy for the fleet’s long-term sustainability. Through the SAIF project, DEFRA officials and I will engage with a wide range of industry and community representatives over the next few months. We intend to arrange a series of meetings around the coast, and I would be pleased to include the Thames estuary and East Anglian coast as areas for inclusion in the meeting schedule.