§ 14. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will specify the steps which are being taken to reduce to a minimum avoidable interference with the fishing industry following drilling for oil and gas in the North Sea.
§ Mr. Hoy
The companies require the consent of my right hon. Friends the Ministers of Transport and Power before drilling actually begins. Fishing interests will be taken into account and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture will be consulted before consent is given. The steps to be taken to minimise interference with the fishing industry will depend on the circumstances in each case.
§ Mr. Hughes
Does not the Minister realise that this is a highly scientific matter and that he should be forthcoming with concrete evidence that the drilling which is now taking place will not interfere with the fertility of the fish, the supply of fish for consumers, and the fishing industry? What evidence is forthcoming about that?