I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he is aware that illegal trawling and trammel-net fishing is being extensively carried on in Dundrum Bay, County Down, to the detriment of the line fishermen of Newcastle and other villages on that coast; and will he say what steps his Department intend to take to put a stop to it.
§ MR. BIRRELL
My hon. friend has asked me to reply to the Questions addressed to him to-day. As regards illegal trawling in Dundrum Bay, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply just given to a Question asked by the hon. Member for South Down†. The use of trammel-nets during the day is, in the absence of a bye-law, illegal. From some cause the fishermen have been under the impression that the practice was legal in Dundrum Bay. The Department are about to submit a bye-law making the use of these engines legal during the day in the place in. question, and meantime they have felt hesitation in directing that prosecutions should be instituted against persons for following a practice which has been many years in operation.
Has the Fishery Board steamer for the protection of fisheries patrolled this portion of the coast for the last five years?