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Fertilisers

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of David Taylor David Taylor Labour/Co-operative, North West Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment has been made of the possible link between the use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and the health of the wild freshwater fish population in the UK.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

No specific study has been undertaken recently of possible links between the use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and the status of the wild freshwater fish populations in the UK. However, various studies have been undertaken on the effects of increased nutrient loads in rivers and lakes. In addition, water quality, including the effects of contaminants such as chemical fertilisers, is one the factors routinely considered when assessing the state of fish stocks. Water quality is assessed when developing Salmon Action Plans aimed at the conservation and enhancement of salmon in rivers in England and Wales.

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