MR. FFRENCH (Wexford, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether it has been brought to his notice that, under the bye-laws of the Conservancy Board which regulate the close time for fishing in the Slaney, the net fishermen are placed at a disadvantage in taking salmon, as compared with the anglers in that river and the net fishermen in neighbouring rivers; whether he is aware that the fishermen have only three representatives on the Conservancy Board, whereas the anglers are represented by three elected members and also 10 ex officio members, together with 10 other ex officio members who may be called in at any moment; and whether he will inquire into the matter, with a view to remedying the alleged grievance of the Slaney fishermen?
MR. J. MORLEY
The Inspectors of Fisheries inform me that the Close Season Order referred to was passed with the object of preserving the stock of fish in the River Slaney, which was proved to be diminishing from excessive netting. 1572 The Order was not passed in the interest of any one class of fishermen, and the Inspectors believe that the restrictions placed on netting will ultimately benefit both net fishermen and anglers. The facts appear to be as stated in the second paragraph; but I would point out that the constitution of the Board of Conservators is regulated by Statute, and that there is no power to interfere in the matter in this respect.