§ Mr. Salmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what tonnage of fishing vessels and what number of fishing vessels in Scotland have been(a) permanently reassigned for purposes other than fishing in the waters of the European Community and (b) permanently transferred to a third country since 1993; how many of these would have been covered under article 8 of European Council regulations 3699/93; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Raymond S. Robertson
[holding answer 19 July 1996]: No record is kept of the destination of vessels leaving the fleet without Government assistance. Under the Fishing Vessels (Decommissioning) Schemes 1993 to 1996, no decommissioned vessels were either permanently reassigned for purposes other than fishing in the waters of the European Community or permanently transferred to a third country.
§ Mr. Salmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received concerning the option of including permanent transfer of a fishing vessel to a third country or permanent reassignment for purposes other than fishing in waters of the European Community in the United Kingdom's decommissioning scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Robertson
[holding answer 19 July 1996]: A number of organisations made representations to the Scottish Office about fishing vessel decommissioning in response to a consultation document issued on 14 March. Some of these included support for the disposal of decommissioned vessels by methods other than scrapping. Similar representations were also received about previous schemes.
Under Council regulation (EEC) No. 3699/93, each member state is responsible for ensuring that vessels decommissioned with assistance from the Community's financial instrument of fisheries guidance do not re-enter its own fishing fleet or the fleet of any other member state. It has not been possible to develop transfer or reassignment mechanisms in the UK which would guarantee this. Under the Fishing Vessels (Decommissioning) Scheme 1996, the requirement therefore remains that most decommissioned vessels in 242W the UK be scrapped, although there is a provision allowing vessels to be transferred in a seaworthy state to registered museums.