HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc949-50W
Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the letter signed by the hon. Member for Scunthorpe of 7 April 2002, what progress is being made in the drafting of regulations that will apply the EU Habitats Directive beyond 12 nautical miles, with particular reference to the situation of the Darwin Mounds and coral reef off Rockall. [57132]

Mr. Meacher

Preparation of legislation is continuing with the intention of public consultation this summer. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee has just reported to my Department on possible selection criteria for sites to be identified for protection under these regulations once they are made. The proposed selection criteria address reef habitats as well as sandbanks, submerged sea-caves and gaseous vents, plus numerous species. A copy of the report is being placed in the House Library.