HC Deb 11 August 1890 vol 348 cc521-2

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been drawn to the late statement of the Lord Advocate, that the prohibition of trawling in certain Scotch bays has been on the whole highly beneficial, and if he will now take steps to prohibit trawling in some of the Irish bays, such as Galway, where a great majority of the fishermen have been long opposed to trawling; and if it is not legally in the power of the Lord Lieutenant to adopt this course, and if the late Lord Lieutenant refused to adopt it?


The Inspectors of Irish Fisheries do not contemplate at present the prohibition of trawling generally in any of the bays in Ireland. They have inquired into all applications received by them up to the present time, and have made their decisions thereon—namely, that there was nothing to justify them in prohibiting this mode of fishing. It is in the power of the Lord Lieutenant in Council to prohibit trawling where the Inspectors refuse to do so. In the case of Galway Bay, an appeal was brought against such a decision of the Inspectors, but the latter was upheld on the appeal being heard by a Committee of the Privy Council. Since that time no further application on the subject has been received. At inquiries recently held in reference to the fisheries of Donegal Bay, the evidence showed the total absence of flat fish in market since the English trawlers left the bay. The Inspectors have made a bye-law prohibiting steam trawling off a small part of the coast of Antrim, Derry, and Donegal, under the powers given them by the late Act, but they have not received complaints against steam trawling from Galway.


I would ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he will kindly consider during the recess the difference between the Irish and Scotch policy on the question of trawling, and whether he will have a Conference of the Irish and Scotch Commissioners, so as to try and find out the reason for the difference?


One of the great differences between the Scotch and the Irish case is that the trawling prohibited in Scotland is sea trawling, while the kind of trawling which prevails in Galway Bay does not exist in Scotland at all.


Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the English law, whereby, as I understand, along the coast of Northumberland representative Committees have the power to put down this trawling?