Counterpoint: Pollution in the Irish Sea

Counterpoint: Pollution in the Irish Sea

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Douglas Beach, Isle of Man, Palace Hotel & Casino, Strangford Lough




Transmission 25/10/1990


25min 27sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Presenter Brian Black explores the issue of pollution in the Irish Sea. 

The Irish Sea Conference presents a report to concerned individuals and government officials, so that the scale of problem is understood. Conference speaker, Dr Shaw discusses the matter, observing that it is a cause for concern, rather than panic. One of the scientists responsible for the report, Rick Boelens (Irish Science & Technology Agency) acknowledges that there are problems, but states that there is nothing in the findings to support claims that the waters of the Irish Sea are amongst the most polluted in the world. He also comments on the suggestion that the Irish Sea is radioactive.

Dr Paul Johnston (Greenpeace) is not satisfied with the response, particularly any suggestion that more scientific evidence is necessary before precautionary measures are taken. This is not the case for the Irish government, Mary Harney explaining that it is important to act in advance of the problem developing, in particular she comments on the issue of sewage disposal. David Heathcoat-Amory (Junior Environment Minister), states that the UK government are also taking action, but the measures they employ are dependent on the guidance of a Scientific Coordinator.

The subject of fishing is introduced by Prof. Trevor Norton (Irish Sea Study Group) who advises that the scale of the fishing industry's activity needs to be reduced. This is echoed by Dick James (N.I. Fish Producers Organisation), who believes that the quantity of fish currently being caught can only prove problematic.

The programme concludes by focusing on Strangford Lough with contributions from Dr. Brian Mawhinney (N.I. Environment Minister), Dr. David Erwin (Ulster Museum), Frank Ferguson (Consultant Engineer), Sam Davis (Strangford Lough Nature Conservation Assoc.), Billy Miskimmin (N.I. 2000), Ian McQuiston (National Trust) and Dr. Steve Yearly (Friends of the Earth) giving views on pollution in the Sea and how to manage the Lough.


A UTV production 

Directed by Lynne Davidson 

Produced by Brian Black



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