Mr. Francis Baring
rose to draw the attention of the House to the necessity of making some more effectual provision for the protection of the breed of oysters on our coasts. The Osyter Fishery, he was sorry to say, was not so well guarded as the fisheries for this valuable fish upon the coast of France by its Government. It was well known to the naturalist, as well as the fisherman, that the worst results followed in all cases where the oyster beds were disturbed, or attempted to be dredged, during the breeding season, and that a precise period should be fixed, when the oyster had obtained a certain size, before which it should be illegal to take the young oysters off the bed. On the south-west coast there was a district in which he was assured that the breed of fish had been so much disturbed, by irregularities on the part of the fishermen, that out of 300 boats employed formerly, only ten or fifteen boats were engaged at the present period in this fishery. The object of the Bill he now moved for leave to introduce was two-fold—to ensure an adequate supply, and provide a resource for the industry of a very meritorious class of seamen, who were wont to look to this fishery as their legitimate field of occupation. The hon. Member concluded by moving for leave to bring in a Bill for the better regulation and improvement of the Oyster Fisheries in England and Wales.
§ Captain Pechell
perfectly concurred in the propriety of such an enactment. From what he had so often witnessed of the Oyster Fishery on the Coast of Sussex and Hampshire, he was convinced some measure of the kind was necessary. He felt convinced that by it the interests of our military marine, and the maritime strength of the country would be promoted.
§ Leave given to bring in the Bill.