asked the Secretary of of State for Scotland if he will take steps to make compensation available to the Scottish fishing industry for the loss of access to fishing grounds once the seventh licensing round on oil and gas exploration in the North Sea has been allocated and for fishermen whose gear is seriously damaged as a result of debris left by oil and gas operations.
The industry's representatives were told in October of last year that the Government were unable on the evidence produced to accept that a claim on public funds for loss of access to fishing grounds as a result of offshore oil activity has been proved. They have recently indicated that they would like to discuss their claim with Ministers. Arrangements for this are in hand and the discussion will take account of the Government's proposed seventh round of offshore licensing. A fund financed by the oil companies for damage to fishing gear caused by oil-related debris already exists.