Jayne Kirkham to hold talks with South West Water after closure of shellfish sites
By Max Goodman
5th Jun 2023 | Local News
Local councillor and Labour parliamentary candidate Jayne Kirkham has said she is to speak to South West Water to discuss the latest threat to the Fal oyster fishing industry, following the shocking news that shellfish sites in the Fal were forced to close after an outbreak of E coli. The closure took place between the 12th and 31st of May.
Back in April the company was give a record fine of £2.1m for pollution offences, last month a protest was also organised by Surfers Against Sewage after E.coli was found in water samples.
It was reported in the media last month that "very high" levels of E.coli had been found in oysters and mussels which has lede to the closure of 11 sites In Cornwall.
Jayne said: "The future of the shellfish industry hangs in the balance. It was an afterthought in the Brexit agreements leading to extra red tape and reduced markets. Then neglect of our sewage infrastructure led to hours of untreated sewage pouring into our rivers. The result is this – E Coli and closed sites.
"This is a vital, heritage industry and the appalling truth is that this government has been either too incompetent or too uncaring to do anything to protect it. After 13 years of negligence, we need a Labour government to put this right.
"To stop the spills and protect consumers of our seafood and people who use our beaches, Labour will give the Environment Agency the power and resources to monitor all sewage outlets. We will introduce automatic fines for discharges and a legally binding target to reduce sewage dumping.
"We will ensure that failure to improve is paid from dividends, not customer bills, and bosses who routinely and persistently break the rules will face fines."
Jayne also add that protecting the shellfish industry is an issue she has taken up over several years as the impact of Brexit and pollution has endangered local fisheries.