§ Sir David Steel
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to ensure that the level of fees charged by river authorities in Scotland to fish farms are related to the size of enterprises and quantity of water used.
§ Mr. Lang
Charges under the river purification boards' charging schemes are related to the cost to the boards of monitoring specific discharges. The amount of monitoring reflects the protection necessary for the water environment in each case. Charges for fish farms vary according to a range of factors which are not always related to size. These include the degree of dilution available at each location and the sensitivity to pollution of the waters concerned. The board's schemes have been approved following extensive consultation with interested parties and we have no plans to seek changes at this time.