HC Deb 11 March 1970 vol 797 cc1324-5
10. Mr. Buchanan-Smith

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will conduct a survey of the effect of oil slicks on fishing, particularly shell fishing, off the East Coast of Great Britain.

Mr. Hoy

The Fisheries Departments already keep a close watch on fish and shellfish landed, and there is no evidence to suggest that contamination or damage occurs on any scale.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, despite the help of the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Defence, it has been impossible to trace the source of recent oil slicks off the east coast of Scotland? Is he aware that there is great concern among the fishermen of these coasts, and will he do as much as he can to trace where these slicks originate?

Mr. Hoy

We do our best to trace them. They cause considerable trouble and I should like to help the hon. Gentleman. We should like to find out who is responsible.

Dr. Gray

In view of the threat to entertainment resorts, such as Great Yarmouth, from oil slicks, what is the hon. Gentleman doing to encourage the patrol vessels under his control to make immediate reports so that effective action may be taken?

Mr. Hoy

I assure my hon. Friend that the slicks are immediately reported when they are discovered so that we may take the necessary action.