HC Deb 19 July 1912 vol 41 cc688-9

I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture, Ireland, a question, of which I have given him private notice: Whether any complaints have reached him from the fishermen who live on the Aran Isles, Galway Bay, respecting the enormous amount of injury done to them by steam trawlers invading the line limit laid down by the Board of Fisheries? Is he aware that these poor people live entirely by fishing? Is he aware that a strong representation was sent to the Board of Agriculture so long ago as Monday, 15th July, complaining of the serious injury inflicted by reason of allowing these foreign steam trawlers to trawl within the prescibed limits, and will he give special direction to have the "Helga" more frequently stationed in the bay to prevent this illegal trawling?


I only received notice of the hon. Gentleman's question last night. I will make inquiries into the matter. But I may say that the Department have only one cruiser at their disposal, and that it cannot be in every place at the same time.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that representations to the effect mentioned in my report have been made to the Board of Agriculture in the past week, and that no attention has been paid to them?


Yes, I am aware of the complaint. It is not possible to keep the cruiser constantly at the Aran Islands.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is general complaint along the whole Western Coast of Ireland of lack of attention on the part of whatever authorities are responsible?


I am aware of the complaint. I am also aware that the evils of illegal trawling have greatly diminished of late.


Where are all the cruisers and battleships that we saw last week? There are 223 of them, and why cannot the Irish people get one?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this boat which he says cannot always be kept at the Aran Islands is at the present moment at Kingstown at the Regatta?