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Environment Secretary Therese Coffey has rejected calls from lawmakers to conduct further analysis to discover what caused the mass deaths of thousands of crustaceans off the northeast coast.
An investigation last month by an independent panel of experts found that a new pathogen was the most likely cause of the October 2021 deaths of hordes of crabs and lobsters.
In response to the findings, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commission urged Coffey to conduct additional tests to find out more about this previously unknown disease.
However, Coffey said in a response released yesterday that he would close all further investigations into the mass mortality of marine life.
“Given the extent of the analytical work already undertaken and further advice given, we have determined that it is highly unlikely that we will determine the cause and therefore no further analysis will be undertaken by the government,” the letter said.
Coffey also ruled out the possibility of the government paying compensation to local fisheries affected by the incident.
Sir Robert Goodwill, chairman of the Efra Commission, wrote in a letter that “given the importance of identifying the pathogen’s origin, transmission route, transmissibility, virulence and other factors associated with it”, the pathogen said further investigation was needed to identify
He also highlighted a comment made by Defra Minister Lord Benyon during the Coastal Futures Conference that “undoubtedly, additional research will be required” depending on the findings.
Ms Coffey’s decision to suspend further investigation work follows sustained criticism of the government’s handling of the incident.
Initial investigations into the death claimed it was caused by an “algae flower”.
Another study by a fisheries-backed academic suggested that the industrial pollutant pyridine may be to blame, possibly because the Tees estuary was dredged to maintain a channel for port traffic. .
Teesside has one of the government-backed freeports. This is a special economic zone that offers tax breaks and low tariffs.
There have been calls to halt the dredging of the new Freeport pending a full analysis of the situation.
However, an independent panel of academics, industry experts and chaired by Gideon Henderson, chief scientific adviser to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said the cause was pyridine or another toxic substance. A possibility was judged to be “very low.” Pollutant.
The dying creature was seen “jerking” and exhibiting lethargic behavior during mass crab deaths on the coastline from Hartlepool to Whitby.
There was a harrowing sight of large numbers of lobsters and crabs dying and dying on the beach, but fishing crews said the low catch offshore after the event was “catastrophic” for their livelihoods. I warned you.