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Marine Environment

Volume 447: debated on Friday 16 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria are used to identify Marine Environment High Risk Areas. (77664)

I refer the hon. Lady to my answer of 8 March 2006, Official Report, columns 1519-21W to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Andrew George).

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons the Isles of Scilly are no longer a Marine Environment High Risk Area. (77665)

The Isles of Scilly have never been designated as a Marine Environmental High Risk Area (MEHRA). Although Lord Donaldson’s report “Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas” suggested a number of areas that he felt might be identified as MEHRAs, some of these subsequently did not meet the criteria, based on environmental importance along with accident frequency and pollution risk from shipping. Only those areas which scored highly both in terms of environmental sensitivity and in terms of risk from shipping qualified as MEHRAs.

Consequently, the written statement from the former Secretary of State for Transport on 13 February 2006, Official Report, columns 58-59WS, announcing the locations of the MEHRAs, did not include the Isles of Scilly.