HC Deb 09 June 1904 vol 135 cc1228-9

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that during the past three weeks three large French fishing boats have been fishing every night in the Kenmare River, to the detriment of the local boats, who are afraid to shoot their nets anywhere in the vicinity because of the risk of being run down; whether he is aware that H.M.S. "Skipjack" has only visited the coast once within the same period, and then confined its attention to hunting up fishing boats to see whether the letters and numbers on their sails were perfect, although steam trawlers had frequently been within the limit; and whether steps will be taken to protect the local fishermen.


Only two cases of alleged fishing by French boats in territorial waters have been brought under the notice of the new Department. These were investigated by the commander of H.M.S. "Skipjack," but no definite proof of the commission of the offence was obtainable. The Department's cruiser has frequently patrolled this part of the coast for vessels engaged in illegal steam trawling. Two such vessels have been captured, and proceedings have been instituted, and are now pending.


Does the right hon. Gentleman undertake that the fishing tackle seized shall not be sold back to the trawlers from which it was taken?


Order, order! That does not arise out of the Question.