Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission
The Commission has asked the Spanish authorities which measures are taken or envisaged so that the activities referred to by the Honourable Member are in compliance with the applicable EU environmental acquis. The Commission does not have an opinion yet and will examine whether action is necessary after assessment of the reply of the Spanish authorities.
Good environmental status of marine waters, to be achieved or maintained by 2020, requires that introduction of various forms of energy, including underwater noise, is at levels that do not adversely affect the marine environment.
In general, several species (cetaceans, invertebrates, fish and fish larvae's) can be affected by underwater noise and further research is needed to assess in more detail the extent of the impact on these species.
However, any technologies used must comply with EU legislation or contribute to the achievement of environmental standards laid down in EC law. The Commission does not carry out assessment of technologies. This is up to Member States when authorising on activity or use in marine waters.