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 am just moving on to dredging on the Tees.

Dredging has been taking place for many years. It is essential to maintain navigational safety and access to ports and other facilities, and it plays a fundamental part in the operation of local businesses. It has been ruled out as a likely cause of the wash-up.

Before a marine licence is granted, samples of dredge materials must be tested. The MMO has looked at the test results before and after the dredging. The sampling of sediment licensed by the MMO for disposal to the designated sites of the Tees confirmed that no chemical determinants exceeded levels of concentrations that would be harmful to marine life. A further review found no evidence of a link between the disposal of dredged sediment and the mass crustacean deaths. The Environment Agency could not find anything of note in its testing, either. Sediment that is going to be dredged in the Tees is tested and sampled at least every three years prior to the dredging, and the MMO found nothing in the dredging sphere that would explain the deaths.