§ Mr. Foulkes
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions his Department has had with fishermen and the coastguard service regarding the extension of the Subfacts notification scheme to all fishing areas; when he expects the extensions to take place; and if he will make a statement;
(2) why the extension of the Subfacts submarine notification scheme to the Minches and Hebrides has been delayed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
The notification scheme has been operating successfully in the inner Clyde since December 1990 and has subsequently been extended to cover submarine exercise areas in the outer Clyde and at Rona and Raasay. Following discussions with representatives of the fishing industry in the fishing industry safety group, we634W are planning a further extension of the scheme to cover other regularly used submarine exercise areas off the west coast of Scotland and in the English channel. We are considering, in consultation with HM Coastguard and others, the detailed operating arrangements for the extended scheme, and will make an announcement as soon as possible.