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To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answers to questions S3W-12 and S3W-889 by Richard Lochhead on 7 and 27 June 2007, what evidence was presented by the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) in calling for a review of the Fleet Renewal Programme and in what way did it differ from the evidence that supported the SFPA’s Corporate Plan 2002-03 that made the case for the replacement of all three Sulisker Class vessels.

Answered by Richard Lochhead (31/07/2007): The SFPA’s extant corporate plan2006-10 and associated fleet renewal programme involved the allocation ofsubstantial capital and revenue funds over the next spending review period,including the capital costs of the proposed replacement Sulisker Class vesseland the enhancement of the fleet from four to five vessels. Against thebackground of a wide range of spending pressures on the Scottish Government andthe substantial improvements in marine fisheries enforcement capability inrecent years, I decided to ask the SFPA to undertake a review of the fleet renewalprogramme, including an assessment of the full range of options including newbuilds and refurbishment of existing vessels. It is entirely appropriate forthe new administration to take a fresh look at the options ahead of firmdecisions in the 2007 spending review. The review will therefore informdecisions on future procurement yet to be taken as part of the 2007 spending review.

Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 31/07/2007