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ERD/S2/06/26/M

26th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Wednesday 20 September 2006

Present:

Sarah Boyack (Convener)
Rob Gibson
Maureen Macmillan
Nora Radcliffe
Elaine Smith
Mr Ted Brocklebank
Richard Lochhead
Mr Alasdair Morrison
Eleanor Scott (Deputy Convener)

Also present: Mr Stewart Maxwell.

The meeting opened at 9.33 am.

1. Items in private: The Committee agreed to take item 3 in private and to consider its draft report on the Environmental Levy on Plastic Bags (Scotland) Bill in private at any future meetings. The Committee also agreed to take item 5 in private.

2. Subordinate legislation: The Committee considered the following negative instruments—

the Inshore Fishing (Prohibition of Fishing for Cockles) (Scotland) (No. 2) Order 2006 (SSI 2006/383);
the Avian Influenza (Preventative Measures) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/399); and
the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/419).

The Committee agreed, being content with the instruments, to make no recommendation to the Parliament.

3. Environmental Levy on Plastic Bags (Scotland) Bill (in private): The Committee considered a draft supplementary Stage 1 report and agreed to consider a further draft at its next meeting on 27 September.

4. Public petition: The Committee considered PE799 by the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) on closing an area of Lamlash Bay to all forms of marine life extraction and the rest of the Bay to mobile fishing gear, and took evidence from—

Don Macneish, Chairman of COAST;
Professor Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation, University of York; and
Tony Wass, commercial angling skipper on the Clyde;

and then from—
Alistair Sinclair, Secretary, Scottish Creelers and Divers Association;
Patrick Stewart, Secretary, Clyde Fishermen’s Association; and
John Hermse, Secretary, Mallaig and North West Fishermen’s Association;

and then from—
John Thomson, Director for Strategy and Operations West Areas, Scottish Natural Heritage; and
David Donnan, Senior Fisheries Advisories Officer, Scottish Natural Heritage;

and then from—
Ross Finnie MSP, Minister for Environment and Rural Development; and
Eamon Murphy, Sea Fisheries Conservation Division, Scottish Executive.

The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Environment and Rural Development to request him to take forward developments on the petition with the relevant interested organisations.  The Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Convener to consider any claims for witness expenses arising from consideration of this petition.

5. Crofting Reform etc. Bill (in private): The Committee agreed to nominate the Convener as Committee speaker for the Stage 1 debate on the Bill.

The meeting closed at 1.08 pm.

Mark Brough
Clerk to the Committee