Birds hit by Northumbrian sewage

The deaths of 13,000 kittiwakes and a decline in numbers of eider ducks are linked to sewage disposal practices in Northumbria, according to Dr John Coulson of Durham University. At a conference in January, Dr Coulson said that kittiwake deaths in the Tyneside area were probably caused by algal toxins from blooms promoted by nutrients from offshore sewage sludge dumping, which ceased at the end of 1998. He also linked the decline of eider ducks near Amble with falling numbers of mussels near the local sewage effluent outfall.

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