HC Deb 10 November 1926 vol 199 cc1073-4
31. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware of the small proportion of the destruction of fish due to human agency; and if he will consider devoting more of the money now spent on statistical matters to the discovery of new fishing grounds through aviation and other means?


So far as I am aware, no moans have yet been discovered of measuring the respective parts played in the destruction of fish life by human and other agencies; but there is definite evidence that the effects of fishing on the stock of fish are by no means negligible. Statistics are of fundamental importance for the intelligent study of fishery problems, and I do not propose to do anything to impair the accuracy of our fishery statistics. As funds permit and opportunity serves, assistance will be given for the discovery of new fishing grounds, and but for the coal strike—[Interruption]— but for the shortage of coal an exploratory expedition jointly financed by trawler owners and the Government would have been carried out this year from Fleetwood. Aviation as a means of discovering fish has already been tested by the Ministry and by the Fishery Board for Scotland, and has proved useless for the purpose


Can the Minister tell us when the fishery research vessels for the Atlantic, which were promised last year, will come into being?


We are also discussing that matter with the representatives of the western fisheries interests, and we hope that before long, with their help, a boat may be provided, anyhow temporarily.

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