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Volume 506: debated on Tuesday 2 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government Chief Scientist has provided advice to (a) his Department and (b) the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) Commissioner on the proposed marine protected area in the BIOT. (320087)

Marine Resources and Fisheries Consultants (MRAG) Ltd. is currently contracted by the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) Administration to manage the Territory's fisheries. Professor Beddington stood down as Director of MRAG Ltd. on the announcement of his appointment by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 1 October 2007. He has taken no part in any MRAG activities since that time. Since his appointment he has had no discussions with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) or any other Department on fisheries with which MRAG is involved. Neither has Professor Beddington offered any advice on the proposed Marine Protected Area in BIOT. In responding to the FCO public consultation, the company's Development Director has declared MRAG's interest in the outcome of the consultation.