South West MEP says enough is enough, urges seabird death chemical to be banned - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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South West MEP says enough is enough, urges seabird death chemical to be banned

Thursday, 9 May 2013
South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson has said enough is enough and is calling for Polyisobutylene, the chemical thought to be responsible for killing birds off the South West of England, to be banned.

The senior MEP is urging the government and the European Commission to take action on the source of major pollution that has led to the washing up of nearly 3,000 birds off the Devon, Dorset and Cornish coast this year.

The birds are believed to have been polluted by chemicals discharged from ships sailing through the English Channel. The substance is thought to be Polyisobutene (PIB), a sticky rubber like substance used in a variety of commercial products. Ships clean out their tanks after leaving port, dumping residue PIB into the sea. The chemical forms a sticky glue-like condition when in contact with water.

Currently, restrictions are placed on ships sailing up to 12 miles off the coast but it is legal in international law to dump substances outside this territory. Sir Graham believes that international agreements can be tightened to combat this practice and has written to the Department for Transport and submitted a parliamentary question to the European Commission (E-005005/2013).


Video: Quadrant/Europe&You

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