HC Deb 25 March 2003 vol 402 c189W
Mrs. Iris Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 27 February 2003,Official Report, columns 695–6W, on scallop fisheries, why, when scallops in the Irish Sea were detected as containing in excess of 20mg/kg of ASP, the area of closure was not confined to the box in which the scallops were detected. [102615]

Ms Blears

When considering closure of areas of water off the coast of Northern Ireland in such circumstances, the Food Standards Agency uses ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) areas as a means of designating particular areas of water. In every case the aim is to include any area where there is reason to think there is a hazard. Because of the very mobile nature of marine algae, it is necessary to include a safety margin to ensure protection of public health.

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