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Harbour Porpoises

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the European Commission on the protection of harbour porpoises under the Habitation Directive in 2006; and if he will make a statement. (106491)

The Department has had no direct discussions with the European Commission regarding protection of harbour porpoises. However, harbour porpoises are a European Protected Species and we are committed to their conservation.

We consider the impacts of all marine developments on harbour porpoise. For example, my Department’s Marine Consents and Environment Unit is currently assessing the potential risk to porpoises in relation to an application for a licence pertaining to the construction of an offshore wind-farm in Swansea Bay.

We are also contributing to the development of a harbour porpoise recovery plan for the North Sea through the Agreement on Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Sea.