HC Deb 27 January 1993 vol 217 cc707-8W
Mr. David Porter

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he makes of the risk to the shore and to marine life in the North sea of cargoes carried

Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and the EEC—share a common approach for the selection and approval of the particular dispersants which may be used. They have also agreed in principle on a mutual acceptance of individually approved dispersants in the case of an emergency.

Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the amount of oil spilled off the Kent coast in the last six months; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris

There were no major oil pollution incidents off the Kent coast during the last six months. Motor tanker Perfecto spilled some 200 gallons of gasoil during an incident at Shellhaven on 20 July 1992, and the fishing vessel Our Sarah Jane spilled 600 gallons of diesel at Whitstable on 18 July 1992. Both these incidents were dealt with by the appropriate port authorities who also investigated them with a view to prosecution. The marine pollution control unit monitored these and 21 reports of possible minor pollution by ships in the United Kingdom waters off the Kent coast. The majority concerned the sighting of oil-like sheens in the wakes of suspect ships and almost all were reported by other vessels or aircraft. It is impossible to quantify reliably the small amounts of oil discharged in the wakes of ships. As a result of MPCU action, four vessels were given port state control inspections at their next ports of call and two, bound for remote parts of the world, were put on the European register for inspection should they return to north European waters.