Written Answers. - Water Pollution.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

174 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources when his Department will release analytical results regarding the brown coloured insoluble slick observed and contained along the upper bay of the Sruwaddacon and elsewhere in Broadhaven Bay in County Mayo of which he was informed in mid-October 2001; the measures he and his Department will take to clean up the discharged pollutant and identify and prosecute the offenders. [26990/01]

I have had samples of the slick, which was reported in Broadhaven Bay on 5 September, analysed in the Marine Institute's laboratories following concerns expressed that it was an algal bloom. The analysis confirmed than the material was organic to nature but there is no evidence of its source or origin. No algae were detected. I stress that, because of current movements, the material could have originated outside the area. I have no information to suggest that the slick was harmful and I am advised by my officials that there is no evidence of the slick at present. Should any material from the slick have drifted onto the beaches, the clean up is a matter for the local authority. My Department is not aware of any ongoing problem in the area or of any further reports of slicks in the area.