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Solent European Marine Site

Volume 670: debated on Wednesday 16 March 2005

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether Section 5(a) and (b) of the Solent European Marine Site (Prohibition of Method of Dredging) Order 2004 (S.I. 2004/2696) should be taken to imply that part of the Solent European Marine Site is outside relevant British fishery limits and may, therefore, be dredged by boats from other European countries; and why this order is not extended to all British territorial waters. [HL1721]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Lord Whitty)

The Solent European Marine Site (Prohibition of Method of Dredging) Order 2004 (S.I. 2004/2696) was made to avoid any deterioration in the natural habitat and species for which the Solent European Marine Site (EMS) has been designated. The Solent EMS is totally contained within six nautical miles of the English coast where vessels from other countries do not have access rights.Articles 5(1)(a) and (b) are well precedented and relevant enforcement provisions. They enable British sea-fishery officers to enforce the order on British vessels even if they have left the relevant area, and on vessels from other countries even if they do not have access rights to the area. There is no intention to extend this order to all British territorial waters; measures to protect other European marine sites from damage caused by fishing are considered on a case-by-case basis.