HL Deb 11 May 1970 vol 310 cc485-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What machinery local sea fisheries committees have to enforce the by-laws they make to prohibit the deposit or discharge of substances detrimental to sea fish or sea fisheries; whether these committees are competent to investigate the possibly dangerous interaction of prima facie harmless deposits or discharges; whether these committees need reinforcing by other bodies in order to extend the protection at present enjoyed by sea fish to other organisms less directly dependent on the sea, such as human beings.


Sea fisheries committee's by-laws are enforced through the courts. For this purpose the committees appoint sea fishery officers with powers, within the district, which include stopping and searching vessels carrying substances the discharge of which is prohibited or regulated by a by-law. Some of the larger committees have patrol vessels to assist enforcement.

Some committees obtain scientific advice from members with suitable qualifications and all committees can obtain, from appropriate sources, the expert information needed to carry out their investigations. In particular, the Fisheries Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, which carries out research work on the effects of pollution on marine life and publishes information on this subject, is always ready to investigate problems raised by the committees and to give advice.

As to the last part of the Question, Her Majesty's Government will be giving consideration to the recommendations of the Committee under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Lena Jeger, Member of Parliament for Camden, which has been examining the public health, amenity and economic aspects of the various methods of sewage disposal and has included in its consideration the effects on human beings of discharging sewage and industrial wastes to the sea.

House adjourned at twenty-four minutes past six o'clock.