HC Deb 29 July 1875 vol 226 cc176-7

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the following passage at page 19 of the Report of the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries for 1874, in reference to the northern coast of Ireland:— By the interpretation of a certain decision of the Court of Queen's Bench, in the case of Stewart and Cubett, fishermen using the ancient mode of fishing practised on the sea coast, called half-tram, are liable to prosecution for using a fixed engine, unless they hold a certificate for a fixed net or engine from this department, which could not be granted in consequence of the fishermen not being in a position to prove their legal title, as required by the Act 5th and 6th Vic. c. 106, s. 19, to use fixed engines: In some places, owing to the strong tides and currents, the fishermen are compelled to use the most exhausting exertion at the oar to keep their boats in proper position to enable them to work their nets, and on other parts of the coast, where many industrious men could have successfully pursued their calling, they have been obliged to abandon it altogether, from not being allowed, for even a short time, to keep their boats stationary by attachment to a rock, while there is no prohibition in law against them doing so for any description of fish other than salmon or trout. Although this amounts to a great hardship on the fishermen accustomed to follow this mode of capture under circumstances when no other could be successfully practised, and acts as a serious obstacle to fishing industry, there is no remedy unless by legislation; and, if it is the intention of Government to take measures with a view of remedying the grievance thus pointed out by the Commissioners?


, in reply, said, his attention had been directed to the Report referred to by the hon. Member. The questions raised therein were by no means free from difficulty, and he trusted, during the Recess, to have the advantage of personally communicating with the Inspectors of Fisheries.