§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what studies he has undertaken of the safety issues raised by the towed sonar/seismic survey being undertaken off the Needles in view of the congestion in these waters at this time of year from yachts and pleasure craft;
(2) if he will undertake a special survey into the safety aspects of the towed seismic survey being undertaken off the Needles in respect of the congestion of these waters at the present time of year.
§ Mr. Norris
Ships engaged in seismic surveys are required to show the signals prescribed in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea which indicate they are restricted in their ability to manoeuvre. Special surveys are undertaken if a need is clearly identified, but no approach has been made in respect of seismic surveys off the Needles.