§ Mr. Martyn Jones
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the LINK programme on Aquaculture has examined the competitiveness of ecologically sound systems of aquaculture; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Morley
While no proposal on this particular subject has come forward under Aquaculture LINK, minimising the environmental impact of aquaculture is one of the key themes of the programme. It already includes a project on the environmental aspects of site assessments for salmon farming, and a proposal to study the impact on freshwater lochs of wastes from aquaculture operations is under consideration. We have recently issued a further call for proposals in this area. As with other LINK programmes, projects funded through Aquaculture LINK must have industry support, be of high scientific quality and be endorsed by the Programme Management Committee (an independent body of aquaculture experts) and the programme sponsors.