HL Deb 26 July 1977 vol 386 cc967-8WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will list the discussions they have had in the last year with other Governments about the regulation of human activity and the results thereof on, in and under the North Sea and the English Channel.


During the past year routine discussions with other Governments have continued in Working Groups and Standing Committees on a range of matters relating to the North Sea and the English Channel. Those discussions have contributed to identification and greater understanding of the problems involved. The following is a list of the principal discussions held:—

October 1976: Discussions with Norway on the extensions of Health and Safety at Work Regulations to offshore installations in the oil and gas industry. Agreement was reached on further meetings to consider tuture

October 1976: Plenary meeting of the Oslo Commission for discussions on matters of common interest concerning the Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft, 1972.

November 1976: Meeting of the Inter-Governmental Working Group on the Enforcement of Safety Zones: Regional Conference on the Peace Time Protection of Offshore Installations in the North Sea to examine the legal and practical problems involved in the enforcement of safety zones. Recommendations agreed for consideration by the Regional Conference.

November 1976: Plenary Session of the Interim Paris Commission providing further discussion in the context of the Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Land-based Sources, 1974.

December 1976: Inter-Governmental discussions leading to adoption of the text of a Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage from Offshore Installations.

January 1977: Meeting of the ad hoc Group of North Sea States to concert action on improving shipping safety standards and the safety and health of crew and passengers.

January 1977: Discussions with Norway on problems of pollution of the North Sea.

March 1977: Meeting of the Anglo/French Safety of Navigation Group for discussions on improving the maritime safety of the Channel and the Dover Strait.

April 1977: Meeting of the United Kingdom/Norwegian Ministerial Coordinating Committee for discussions on matters of mutual interest concerning oil and gas resources in the North Sea.

April 1977: Meeting of States party to the Bonn Agreement 1969 to discuss mutual assistance in the event of oil spills in the North Sea.

May 1977: Discussions with France on certain aspects of the enforcement of fisheries regulations in the Channel.

June 1977: Ministerial discussions with Norway on the implications of the Ekofisk blow-out.

June 1977: Joint Anglo/French maritime exercise testing communications aspects of contingency plans to deal with major maritime accidents in the Dover Strait. Joint Anglo/French survey of Channel shipping to study behaviour of vessels using traffic separation schemes in the Dover Strait.

House adjourned at four minutes before eight o'clock.