§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what meetings have been held by officials of his Department with Mr. Richard J. Slaski, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's independent assessor on fish and shellfish cultivation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jon Owen Jones
Mr. Slaski was appointed, by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in August 1998, as one of two Assessors for the forthcoming Review of Research and Development on Fish and Shellfish Cultivation and Health in England and Wales. He was selected from a number of candidates on the basis of his knowledge of the aquaculture industry and his experience in carrying out similar reviews for other Governments. His remit was to consult widely within the industry and academia and to produce a report that identified constraints to the further development of the industry, identified gaps in the current R&D programme and proposed priorities for R&D for the next five years. That report along with another which focuses on health matters, will form the basis for discussion as part of the Review; Welsh Office officials will be involved in those discussions.