HC Deb 26 January 1989 vol 145 c731W
Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if coarse fish, and eels in particular, are able to meet the quality standards set out in European Community directives 82/176 and 84/156.

Mr. Moynihan

These directives set out a range of quality objectives from which member states are required to select those most appropriate to the intended use of the waters. For the purposes of implementing these directives in inland waters, water authorities have elected to apply the quality standard for mercury concentrations in water, rather than that for fish flesh. They have not therefore monitored compliance with the latter standard, which in any case applies to a representative sample of fish flesh, and not to any individual species. Concentrations of substances in fish flesh generally are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

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