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June 24, 2024, 4:36 am UTC    
November 03, 2023 06:22PM
A government-commissioned study agrees with independent findings that an industrial chemical is unlikely to have caused the mass death of shellfish.

...

There has been widespread speculation about the cause of the shellfish deaths, but it is hoped the latest report will draw a line under the issue.

The government previously blamed harmful algae for the die-off, while fishers commissioned a report that linked it to dredging in the River Tees, suggesting the industrial chemical pyridine was responsible.

In January this year, a panel of independent experts said a disease or parasite new to UK waters could have been the cause, with dredging of the Tees and pyridine described as "very unlikely" to be behind the loss of marine life.

However, when the panel met, no method existed to test for the chemical in animal tissue.

Subsequently, Defra commissioned Cefas to develop a robust method and to re-analyse crab tissue samples collected during the incident.

In research reported today, scientists used the new method to discover low levels of pyridine in the crab tissue and sediments, supporting the previous conclusion of the expert panel that it is unlikely to have caused the deaths.

Hermione
Director/Moderator - The Hall of Ma'at


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