To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what new funds her Department will provide to the statutory nature conservation agencies and Sea Fisheries Committee to allow them to meet their responsibilities to manage, protect and monitor the marine environment and its natural resources.
Officials are currently discussing with English Nature their corporate plan for 2002–05. These discussions will focus on the need for resources to cover important areas of work such as the marine environment and in turn help inform the process for the Departments allocation of funds as part of spending review 2002.
Sea fisheries committees are committees of local authorities and are funded by local government. The Government have made it clear that no decisions will be taken on funding of sea fisheries committees until the Common Fisheries Policy review is complete. At that stage we will be better placed to assess any changes in our obligations for inshore management, including any additional environmental responsibilities.