Dead Crustaceans (North-East Coast)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:13 pm on 28th June 2022.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 4:13 pm, 28th June 2022

I reassure the hon. Gentleman that I am being kept informed weekly by my hon. Friends the Members for Hartlepool and for Redcar, and by my own officials, who are monitoring the situation very closely. If I may, I will continue to set out the work that we are doing on testing, because it shows how seriously we are taking the issue.

We are waiting for a report associated with some of the parasite findings in the lobster samples that we took recently. CEFAS is actively investigating the intelligence that some of the lobsters have been found to be heavily parasitised, and it is examining them very carefully. The EA continues to monitor the water, including by conducting chlorophyll and phytoplankton sampling, as well as chemical sampling. The North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Association continues to monitor the health of shellfish stocks by following trends in catch and effort reporting, actively working on survey pots, conducting observer trips onboard fishing vessels and on the quayside, and supporting any additional biological sampling and testing work that is undertaken by other lead organisations. For the sake of completeness, I will say that the MMO is satisfied that the disposal of dredge material has been carried out in accordance with sampling guidelines set out under OSPAR.