HC Deb 24 July 1989 vol 157 c524W
Mr. Speller

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what dates the last two water quality or pollution checks were made in the Bristol channel; at which locations these were made; and what were the results.

Mr. Donald Thompson

The two most recent shipboard surveys in the Bristol channel carried out by my Department were conducted in October 1987 from the research vessel Clione. On the first of these, 65 stations were occupied over the length of the Bristol channel. The objectives were to study the distribution of trace elements in the waters of the channel and to recover a number of fish from the area for trace metal analysis. The second cruise focused on a grid of 75 stations around the sewage sludge disposal ground. Sediment samples were recovered for trace metal and microbiological analysis as well as investigations of sediment-dwelling organisms.

In addition to shipboard study, my scientists also collected samples of mussels from Minehead, Porthcawl and Lynmouth in 1988 for cadmium analysis.

The results of these surveys wil be published as soon as possible.