HC Deb 03 November 1995 vol 265 cc498-9W
Mr. Foulkes

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the full nature and extent of the independent marine survey of the Beaufort dyke area announced by his Department on 24 October with particular reference to(a) sonary soundings, (b) investigation by divers, (c) other physical checks and (d) video investigations; if he will undertake to publish the report in full; and if he will make a statement. [40221]

Mr. Raymond S. Robertson

[holding answer 30 October 1995]: The Under-Secretary with responsibility for industry—my hon. Friend the Member for Kincardine and Deeside (Mr. Kynoch)—told the House on 24 October, that the routine monitoring survey, planned for next spring by the Department's marine laboratory, Aberdeen to determine the effect on the marine environment of the munitions dump sites in the Beaufort dyke area, would be brought forward to mid-November this year. In view of the Government's concern for public safety over the arrival of large quantities of phosphorus canisters on the foreshore of the Clyde estuary and surrounding islands, the survey has been extended in an attempt to identify their source and whether they were disturbed by recent pipeline trenching operations in the area. The fisheries research vessel Clupea will undertake the survey in mid-November. The work will comprise:

  • analysis of sea bed sediment samples and a trawl survey to confirm that there has been no environmental contamination resulting from munitions dumping;
  • exploratory under-water television studies and side-scan sonar investigations to confirm the distribution of any dumped munitions;
  • analysis of commercially exploited fish and shellfish species to ascertain the presence of contaminants that may be related to dumping activity;

The survey will not include investigation by divers.

The results of the survey will be published when available.