§ Mr. Dafis
To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will make it his policy to withdraw from the 14 round of offshore licences those blocks of the Pembrokeshire coast that are likely to impact on the Skomer marine nature reserve;
(2) if he will make it his policy to withdraw from the 14 round of offshore licences those blocks in Cardigan bay which are likely to have impact on those areas which qualify for designation as special protection areas under the EC directive on the conservation of wild birds.
§ Mr. Win Griffiths
To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) what environmental conditions are to be attached to exploration licences issued under the 14 offshore licensing round;
(2) what consideration will be given to the likely effect on the marine environment in assessing licence applications during the 14 offshore licensing round;
(3) whether he will withdraw from the 14 offshore licensing round those blocks which include marine sites of international nature conservation importance.
§ Mr. Eggar
My officials are currently finalising consultations with other Departments and interested parties to see which blocks can be offered for licence in the second stage of the round at the end of July. The Department of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department, fishing organisations, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds are among those consulted. Where blocks covering areas of environmental importance are offered, the offers will be subject to conditions. These conditions, as in 12th round awards, will reflect the nature and degree of concerns at issue on each block. In the 14th round companies will be asked to provide an environmental statement covering the proposed operators' policy towards environmental protection and this will form part of the criteria by which applications are judged.