HC Deb 23 July 1924 vol 176 cc1338-9W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, despite the provisions of the Oil in Navigable Waters Act, 1922, serious damage and loss is caused to fishermen and others on many parts of the coast by the discharge by steamers, whether inside or outside the five-mile limit, of bilge water mixed with varying quantities of oil which, after discharge, drifts in large islands about the fishing grounds, driving away the mackerel and other fish by the destruction of the marine life on which they feed, and rendering fish taken on line or by net in such contaminated areas unfit for human food; and whether, there being now on the market various types of cheap, economical, and efficient oil separators for use on board ship, steps can be taken by legislation or otherwise to render the use of such separators general by all vessels entering British waters?


My attention has been called to some complaints of damage to fish and the fishing industry caused by the discharge of oil from steamers, but I should be glad to receive any definite evidence which the hon. Baronet can place before me. The regulation of shipping outside territorial waters is a matter for international agreement, and steps are being taken to ascertain whether there, is a probability of an international conference being convened by one of the leading maritime Powers.