§ Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the work of the Admiralty Materials Laboratory at Poole, Dorset, on the new method of detecting and identifying oil slick at sea; in how many instances it has been successfully used in the North Sea and elsewhere; and what is the number of prosecutions which have followed, the names of the vessels and their owners, and the result of each prosecution.
§ Dr. David Owen
The Admiralty Materials Laboratory has developed a centripetal sampler which concentrates a thin surface film of oil into a sampling vessel. The equipment is being developed for operational use in the Navy. It has not been used to provide a basis for prosecution of those responsible for oil slicks. In parallel with this work, methods of rough classification of oils at sea and the more discriminating laboratory identification of the oil source are being investigated.