§ Mr. Watt
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what research is being carried out in Scotland on the toxic effects of oil dispersants on marine organisms; what recommendations have been made regarding the use of dispersants in ecologically sensitive areas around the Scottish coast; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hugh D. Brown
Research on the toxic effects of oil dispersants on marine life is concentrated at the fisheries laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at Burham-on-Crouch.
Because of the possible toxic effect of some dispersants in certain circumstances and the damaging effect of some other methods of treatment, my Department and the Nature Conservancy Council are consulted about what action can safely be taken in areas of importance to fisheries and wild life on each occasion of an oil spill incident around the Scottish coast.