A local authority responsible for a stretch of coastline which has been hit by waves of unexplained deaths of marine creatures is being urged to press the government to launch a public inquiry into the incidents.

Opposition groups on the incoming North Yorkshire Council will propose the Conservative-run authority helps avert any repeats of what has been described as “one of Britain’s biggest ecological marine disasters” since crabs, lobsters and other sea creatures, such as prawns, washed up on the county’s coastline from October 2021.

The notice of motion, to be tabled at the unitary authority’s first full meeting in May, follows the authority’s leader, Councillor Carl Les, pledging to address concerns raised over the availability of compensation for fishermen from Staithes to south of Filey.

The move follows an inconclusive debate about the cause of the die-off outbreaks, after the government initially concluded the cause was algal bloom.

After further government-commissioned research stated it had been caused by a unknown pathogen, new to UK waters, Secretary of State Therese Coffey concluded that it was “highly unlikely” the cause of the incidents would be found and ruled out further analysis by the government.

Labour councillor for Whitby Streonshalh division Neil Swannick said Mrs Coffey’s decision to bar further probes was unacceptable.

He said: “I have been calling for a public inquiry since February 2022 and I believe that the time has now arrived when all other routes to discover the cause have been exhausted, and that a public enquiry is the only way forward.”

Councillor Steve Shaw-Wright, leader of the Labour group, said the livelihood and the future economic success of the east cost is being short-changed by the current government.

Councillor Bryn Griffiths, leader of the authority’s Liberal Democrat group, stated the knock-on impacts of the incidents to the wider food chain was putting all of the coastline’s ecology at risk.

He said: “There may well also be a significant adverse impact on our important tourist economy. We should be taking a precautionary principle to examine why this is happening and whether the price paid is worth it.”

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Councillor Andy Brown, leader of the council’s Green group added: “North Yorkshire’s residents were first told that much of the sea life along their coastline had been killed off by an algal bloom that had never been seen.

“Now they are asked to believe that a new disease that no one has ever seen and no scientist has ever detected is the cause.”

Councilor Stuart Parsons, leader of the North Yorkshire Independents group, added: “The Government is simply running scared and wanting to avoid their responsibility. Once again, our fisheries are being let down by the Government. Answers must be found and disclosed.”