§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to protect harvested molluscs from pollution. 846W
§ Mr. Meacher
We are committed to protecting and improving the quality of water in which bivalve molluscs grow. Under the EC shellfish waters directive we have designated 93 waters in England, harvested for shellfish, and have agreed water company spending of over £50 million on improvements to coastal sewage treatment and storm overflows up to 2005 specifically to improve water quality at these sites. Our target is for all commercial harvested shellfish beds to achieve at least category B under the EC shellfish hygiene directive, which includes provisions to protect public health.