HC Deb 27 March 1919 vol 114 c570

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he is aware that in a Return published by the National Sea Fisheries Protection Association in January, 1919, Ireland is said to have 13, Scotland 1,182, and England 2,605 steamers, Ireland none, Scotland 523, England 153 motor vessels, engaged in the fishing industry, the English and Scottish steam and motor vessels being valued, approximately, at £12,000,000 sterling; can he say upon whom responsibility rests for Ireland's shortage of quick-transit vessels so essential in handling a perish able article of food; and what steps he proposes to take to enable Ireland to help the nation's food supply by a more thorough harvesting of her own seas?


In 1913, the last complete normal year before the War, and the year to which it is understood that the figures quoted by my hon. Friend relate, the Irish vessels engaged in fishing numbered 5,093, made up of 21 steamers, 147 motor boats, and 4,925 others. The figures for 1918 are not yet complete, but in 1917 the number of motor boats had increased to 384, although owing to causes connected with the War the number of steamers actually engaged in fishing had been reduced to four. The return of steam fishing vessels at present on Charter by the Admiralty will increase this number in 1919. The number of other boats fitted out for fishing had decreased during the War to 4,154. The vessels enumerated in the question are engaged in fishing, and are not concerned in transit except in so far as they carry their own catches from the fishing grounds to the port of landing.

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