HC Deb 17 December 1986 vol 107 c1188
3. Mr. Harris

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he last met members of the Nature Conservancy Council to discuss marine nature reserves.

Mr. Waldegrave

I met the chairman of the Nature Conservancy Council and council members at their 100th meeting in Peterborough on 2 December. The council expressed its pleasure at the designation by my right hon. Friend on 21 November of the first marine nature reserve at Lundy.

Mr. Harris

Now that the first marine nature reserve has been designated around Lundy, has my hon. Friend any plans for further designations? When considering any possible further reserves, will he ensure that the livelihood of fishermen is one of the factors taken seriously into account?

Mr. Waldegrave

Yes, Sir. The chairman of the NCC has written to me about Skomer, and there are about five more reserves in the pipeline. Time was taken in negotiating the first marine nature reserve largely because we tried to reassure the local fishermen. Now that Lundy has been established and we have shown that reserves can be established without endangering fishermen's livelihoods, I hope that we shall be able to proceed faster and perhaps with fewer suspicions.

Sir Hector Monro

Does my hon. Friend agree that time was taken to produce the first marine nature reserve because there was full consultation with recreation, fishing and other interests? Now that the pattern has been established, more reserves will be designated much more quickly.

Mr. Waldegrave

My hon. Friend has a record of distinguished service on the NCC council. I agree that it has been worth proceeding slowly and carefully. That having been done, I hope that we can accelerate progress.

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