Marine watchdog defends its actions
The Government's marine environment watchdog has defended its licensing procedures after claims of a lack of consultation over surveys of tin deposits off the Cornish coast.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) issued a licence for the work recently carried out by Marine Minerals Limited which believes mining tin in the seabed between St Ives and Perranporth could be worth millions of pounds.
Eddy Derriman, chief officer of the Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA), however, had raised concerns about a lack of dialogue over the survey work with the local fishing fleet.
A spokesman for the MMO said the two licences for coring and grab sampling it had issued were for "minor works" which were unlikely to cause "any significant environmental impacts".
A spokesman said conditions to "notify local fishermen's and mariners' associations" had been fulfilled by the company.
He said another condition, which required Cornwall IFCA to be "immediately informed" if fishing gear was disturbed, was added "at the request" of Mr Derriman."