asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will detail the damage that has been done to oysters and other marine organisms, and where, by tributyl tin from anti-fouling paint;(2) when he intends to impose a ban on the use of tributyl tin paint;(3) if he will list all those individuals and organisations that have made representations to him to
(a) impose a ban on the use of tributyl tin paint and (b) not impose a ban on tributyl tin paint;
(4) if he has any estimate of the economic cost of the damage to oysters and other marine organisms caused by tributyl tin from anti-fouling paint;
(5) what information he has as to which other countries ban or restrict the use of tributyl tin paint; and what have been the results.
Information on the damage to oysters and other marine life is set out in the paper placed in the Library of the House in response to questions from my hon. Friend the Member for Gosport (Mr. Viggers) answered on 24 April 1985 at columns 464–66. The effects on oysters include shell thickening, poor overall growth, reduced yield, and inhibition or total failure of reproduction. Effects on the growth and reproduction of other organisms have also been demonstrated. I have became aware recently of work in the United States of America which indicates that species diversity may also be affected.Government proposals to control the supply and use of organotin based anti-fouling paints in order to protect the marine environment were issued for consultation in February 1985. Over 800 representations were received during the consultation. These are currently being assessed and I expect to announce the Government's conclusions soon. To list all the individuals and organisations making representations would not be appropriate but I shall provide the hon. Member with an analysis of the results of the consultation when this is available and place copies in the Library of the House at that time.No estimate of the economic cost of damage to oysters and other marine life has been attempted. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to do. Any value for shellfish which might have been grown and marketed had they not been affected by tributyl tin must be hypothetical. Other affected organisms, which are important to the well-being of the marine environment, have no commercial value in themselves.The use of anti-fouling paints containing tributyl tin has been restricted in France and the results have included the progressive recovery of some areas previously damaged. I am also aware of research going on in several other countries.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider extending the scope of the proposed ban on the use of anti-fouling paints based on organotin compounds.
There is, as yet, no ban on the use of anti-fouling paints based on organotin compounds. Proposals to prevent the use of these paints on small craft were issued for consultation in February 1985. The evidence which led to these proposals relates to shallow waters and estuaries where there are large numbers of small craft moored for long periods and the proposals are framed to deal specifically with this situation. Any extension of the proposed controls would depend on further evidence of need. I expect to announce soon the results of the consultation and the Government's conclusions.