§ Dr. David Clark
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has on the outcome of the scientific symposium convened by the Federal Republic of Germany to consider the growth of algae in the North sea and Baltic sea on 23 and 24 June.
§ Mr. Moynihan
I have been asked to reply.
The international symposium held at Bonn on 23 and 24 June and organised by the Federal Republic of Germany considered a wide range of scientific papers relating to the recent growth of algal bloom off the Scandinavian coasts. It also considered the large number 741W of seal deaths recently experienced in the Kattegat and Wadden sea. An official of my Department attended as an observer.
With regard to blooms, it was observed that while these are a regular and natural phenomenon in Scandinavian and other coastal waters, including those of the United Kingdom, the species involved in this case, Chrysochromulina, had not previously formed blooms. The area covered by bloom was also exceptional. The evidence available showed that nutrient levels in the bloom waters were low so that no direct link with nutrients can be made although there has been a long-term build-up of nutrient levels in these waters. The general view of the symposium was that physical and climatic conditions were more important influences.
With regard to seal deaths, the most favoured explanation for the deaths, since 12 April, of 1,300 animals out of a population of 16,000, was that of a viral infection. It was acknowledged that pollution was not a cause and there was no evidence to support a link with the algal bloom.
Public Expenditure: Charges 1982–83 to 1990–91 1982–83 outturn 1983–84 outturn 1984–85 outturn 1985–86 outturn 1986–87 outturn 1987–88 estimated outturn 1988–89 plans 1989–90 plans 1990–91 plans Central Government Charges for seed certification, testing and plant breeders' rights 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 Reimbursement from the industry in respect of Aujeszky's disease — 23 3 1 — — — — — Local Authorities Receipts in respect of: Smallholdings 18 13 13 15 16 17 17 18 19 Land drainage and coast protection 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 TOTAL 22 41 21 20 20 23 23 24 24
Note: Figures for the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce and the Foresty Commission are de minimus.