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Marine Life

Volume 177: debated on Monday 23 July 1990

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To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement outlining the mechanisms for, and extent of, co-operation between the Department of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in respect of research into the long-term effects of dredging on marine life.

The Department of the Environment co-ordinates the comments of Government Departments on applications for licences issued by the Crown Estate Commission to extract aggregates from the sea bed. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food provides comments on applications in respect of the potential impact of extraction on the fishing industry and on the marine environment.Research into effects of aggregate dredging on the sea bed is conducted by the Ministry, which has recently decided to undertake a further programme of research in this area. The work will be part-funded by the Crown Estate Commission. The Ministry will draw on the results of this research in commenting to the Department on extraction policy and on dredging applications.