§ Mr. Edwards
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has assessed for the year 2000 the impact of the economic link measures introduced for the fisheries sector on 1 January 1999; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Morley
From 1 January 1999 all British registered fishing vessels over 10 meters in length and catching more than 2 tonnes of quota stocks have had to demonstrate an economic link with fisheries-dependent communities in the United Kingdom. This link can be demonstrated in a number of ways, for example by vessels landing at least 50 per cent. by weight of their quota catch into the UK or by employing a crew of whom at least 50 per cent. are normally resident in a UK coastal area.
In 2000, 1,627 vessels caught more than 2 tonnes of quota stocks and in each case achieved a satisfactory economic link, primarily through landings into the UK. The economic link arrangements have maintained the increases in UK landings and expenditure achieved by foreign-owned UK-registered vessels in 1999. In addition almost 400 tonnes of quota was made available for redistribution to the UK fleet.
A full report by the Fisheries Departments in the United Kingdom on the operation of the economic link measures and their impact in 2000 has been placed in the Library of the House.