Scottish fishing ban continues

By

Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris

Published on
March 12, 2009

A fishing ban near the Scottish Dounreay nuclear site remains in place, following a review from the country's food watchdog.
 
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) underlined this week that with the restrictions in place, the food-safety risk remains "extremely small."
 
Demersal and pelagic fish, molluscs and crustaceans are affected by the ban, an FSA Scotland spokesperson told SeafoodSource.
 
The restrictions remain more than 12 years after 34 "hot" particles of irradiated nuclear fuel were first discovered in October 1997 by divers on the seabed near the nuclear site. At the time, the discovery prompted an order under the Food and Environment Protection Act (FEPA) that forbade fishing within 2 kilometres of the site's discharge pipeline.
 
According to the spokesperson, restrictions under the current order include a ban on fishing or moving "any designated species out of the area" and using a species in the banned zone "in the preparation or processing for the supply of food."
 
The spokesperson said the restrictions will remain in place "for as long as they are needed."
 
Until 2008, hot particles were recovered from the seabed by divers. Since last August, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. has been handling the contamination, using remotely-operated vehicles for seabed particle detection and recovery. 
 
News this week that the FSA would continue the ban follows risk-assessment work in early 2008 and the subsequent FSA review.

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