HC Deb 22 June 1950 vol 476 cc1473-4
50. Mr. Perkins

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the drop in the catches of elvers in the river Severn during the last two years owing to pollution; and what steps he proposes to take to safeguard this industry.

Mr. T. Williams

There is no evidence that recent low catches of elvers are due to pollution. As elvers take some three years to reach the Severn from the Sargasso Sea many factors may affect the run, and these have produced wide fluctuations in the past.

Mr. Perkins

Is the Minister aware that the shortage of elvers will mean a shortage of jellied eels in five years' time?

Mr. Williams

Yes, but perhaps the hon. Gentleman is not aware that the fluctuation has been considerable. In 1908, 700,000 were caught and in 1911 7½ million.