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Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th March 2008.

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Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Conservative, Beverley and Holderness

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of sand and gravel extracted from the coastline through marine aggregate dredging was exported to another EU member state in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs) and Minister for the South East), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DEFRA do not record detailed statistical information pertaining to the export of marine aggregates since this is generated for, and kept by, the Crown Estate.

Exports of marine aggregates from UK licensed areas account for about one-third of the total production. It is important to note that this material is not extracted from the UK coastline, but from licensed offshore dredging areas following a comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

The following table (courtesy of the Crown Estate) outlines the percentage of aggregates extracted from Crown Estate licences within the UK seabed.

Total UK aggregates landed from Crown Estate licensed areas (tonnes) Percentage UK landed aggregates exported to EU member states
1996 19,392,935 35
1997 19,959,782 34
1998 20,471,191 34
1999 20,910,000 35
2000 20,684,340 35
2001 21,077,968 33
2002 20,361,779 30
2003 20,107,368 30
2004 19,668,769 31
2005 19,562,636 33
2006 20,145,414 33

Further information can be found in the British Geological Survey Report entitled 'The strategic importance of the marine aggregate industry to the UK' at: or from the Crown Estate website at:

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