Alex responds to DEFRA crustacean die-offs report

“Today the government have been found out – but it is the people of Teesside who have paid the price. For over fifteen months I and others across Teesside, North Yorkshire and County Durham have been calling for answers on the mass crustacean die-offs that have blighted our environment and have had a detrimental impact on our local fishing industry. I’m pleased that this scientific assessment has shed some light on the matter, and I want to the thank Sir Patrick Vallance and his team for the work they have done on it.

“We now know that the algal bloom theory which the Prime Minister, Ministers, Tory MPs and the Tees Valley Mayor have hidden behind for so long is an unlikely cause for the mass deaths. For months they told us that an algal bloom is the cause and have rubbished anyone who has dared to challenge this theory.

“Just think of the time they could have saved – and anxieties they could have allayed – had they held up their hands, accepted that it was an inconclusive theory, and agreed to carrying out more testing and investigations from the outset. Sadly local Tories seem to think the matter is now closed with this report and are more concerned with protecting the Tees Valley Mayor’s flagship policy.

“As far as I and many others are concerned the matter is very much not closed. This investigation is a good first step to getting to the bottom of this issue. We now need a fully independent and entirely transparent investigation in to the matter with access to all areas for sampling and testing. Only then will get to the bottom of this environmental tragedy of epic proportions.”