HC Deb 23 July 2004 vol 424 c724W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what(a) research and (b) evaluation his Department has carried out on the likely impacts on marine wildlife of the trials of Sonar 2087 in the North West Approaches of the UK; [185200]

(2) how detailed environmental reports from the trials of Sonar 2087 will be used better to protect cetaceans; [185219]

(3) what plans he has to prepare a report on the environmental observations resulting from the trials of Sonar 2087; and if he will make a statement. [185175]

Mr. Caplin

The Ministry of Defence has a continuing programme of research into the effects of active sonar generally. This work is intended to inform Environmental Impact Assessments on marine environments in which sonars might be used by the Royal Navy, rather than in the specific context of United Kingdom territorial waters.

The environmental data gathered during the recent trial of Sonar 2087 in the UK's North West Approaches are being analysed and evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the monitoring and mitigation methods that were put in place and whether any changes are necessary for future trials and/or training activity. We plan to publish a report. I will place a copy in the Library of The House.

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