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Hinkley C accused of killing fish

A group of organisations concerned with fish preservation has accused EdF of putting fish stocks at risk. In a press release this morning Angling Trust, Blue Marine Foundation, Bristol Channel Federation of Sea Anglers, Severn Rivers Trust, Somerset Wildlife Trust and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) call for public support.

EDF is applying for permission to change the design of its cooling system which will draw water directly from the sea. Construction at Hinkley Point C has already begun on two tunnels in the seabed, each large enough to drive a double-decker bus through. These, the groups claim, will suck in the equivalent weight in seawater of a dozen buses every second, along with all sea life within it.

A mesh will be put in place by EdF to stop larger fish being sucked into the Hinkley Point C itself. This serves only to protect the machinery.  However it is the smaller fish, the fry and young of the species in the Bristol Channel area that will bear the brunt of losses. And that is the future of fishing stocks in the Bristol Channel.

Added to which the Group are concerned that fish will die either pressed against the mesh, or in the system of buckets and chutes and then simply be discarded back to sea.

EDF had received permission in 2013 to construct the system, on the promise of installing Acoustic Fish Deterrent (AFD) speakers. These it is claimed would keep up to 90% of specialist hearing fish away from the intakes.

EdF now claim the system is too costly and impractical a promise to keep.

The decision now rests with  the Environment Agency.

The EA are running a public consultation although this has not been widely publicised (mea culpa – we were not aware) and ends this week on 26th July.

For more information and to take part/respond

• Online: Citizen Space consultation tool
• Email: psc-waterquality@environment-agency.gov.uk
• By writing to ‘Environment Agency, Permitting and Support Centre, Water Quality Team, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue, Sheffield, S9 4WF’

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