Clause 117 — Grounds for designation of MCZs

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 26th October 2009.

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Photo of Frank Doran Frank Doran Chair, Administration Committee 9:45 pm, 26th October 2009

I will be brief. I want to reinforce the point that a balance is important. The Bill is extremely important for our whole environment, not just the marine environment. At the same time, however, the balance has to take into account the view of stakeholders-a point that I made in the previous debate.

I am in the fortunate or unfortunate position, depending on what side of the argument one is on, of having a number of stakeholders based in my constituency. I have a fishing industry, which is mainly fish processing now, although there are still remnants of a fishing fleet. I also represent part of the European energy capital, Aberdeen, where we have the headquarters not just of the north-east European oil and gas industry, but of a part of the oil industry that now controls operations throughout Africa, Asia and other parts of the world. Developing out of that, we also have the renewables industry. Indeed, we are becoming a centre for all sorts of marine energy, including wave, tidal and offshore wind. All those views need to be taken into account and it is important that the economic and social arguments are properly understood.

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