Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the implications for fishermen in area VII/A in the Irish sea of the proposed gas pipeline from Brighouse Bay in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, to Loughshinny, north of Dublin in the Republic; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Curry
The proposed route for the pipeline from Brighouse bay to Loughshinny crosses a number of fishing grounds. The main fishing activities are trawling for demersal fish, nephrops and scallops with some seasonal trawling for pelagic species. There is also dredging for scallops, beam trawling and seine netting for whitefish. The implications for fishermen, both during construction and thereafter will depend on the exact route of the pipeline, the time of year it is laid and the practicality of measures, such as trenching, to minimise interference with fishing gear. The company sponsoring the project is discussing these aspects with fishermen before finalising proposals.689W
Where the seabed is soft, the pipeline is expected to bury itself and the company sponsoring the project wish to trench as much as possible of the remaining length. Where the seabed is very hard, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will need to insist on rock armouring with a smooth profile to minimise snagging by fishing gear.