HL Deb 22 July 1898 vol 62 cc770-1

My Lords, I beg to move the Second Rending of this Bill. It deals with very humble fisheries compared with those which were not long since before your Lordships' House, but fisheries which require protection. It will surprise your Lordships to hear that upwards of £2,000 was recently paid in one village in Kerry for mussels and other shell-fish. The inhabitants of this district and the surrounding districts have thrown themselves into the industry with such extreme and inconsiderate ardour that there is a strong probability of the whole of these shell-fish being exterminated unless some means are taken for their protection. This Bill, which has been drafted by the Fishery Commissioners, has passed the House of Commons, and its object is to give power to the Commissioners to make by-laws regulating the mussel fisheries, and enabling them to provide a close time. The Bill has the full approval of the Government, it is necessary for the preservation of this important fishery, and I hope your Lordships will assent to the Second Reading.


My Lords, I beg to endorse all the noble Lord has said. Though this is a small Bill, it is a very useful Bill. After the oyster, the periwinkle is the most luscious bivalve in this country, and probably there is no noble Lord who can forget the delight which he experienced in his youth in consuming the periwinkle with a common pin. This Bill at the present moment is a very necessary one. Owing to the rapid inter-communication by railway between Ireland and England, the people in Ireland are beginning to discover the value of these small shell-fish. There is no country like the west coast of Ireland which is more adapted to the cultivation of these shell-fish, and it is absolutely necessary, in my humble opinion, that notice should be taken of the great demand for them, which will increase year by year, and will result in the destruction of these shell-fish altogether unless they are properly preserved. I therefore think that the provisions of this Bill for placing them under the fishery inspectors, and for having a close time, are most necessary, and will tend very much to the prosperity of the poorer class of Irish fishermen, whose daughters and sons gain their livelihood by the collection of these various mussels.


My Lords, I should like to say a few words in support of this Bill. Unless it becomes law, these shell-fish will disappear entirely. We know that the tendency everywhere is to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, unless some preventive is put upon it, and I hope your Lordships will see your way to give this Bill a Second Reading.


My Lords, I have only to say, on behalf of the Irish Government, that this Bill is considered by them a very useful one, and it is hoped your Lordships will give it a Second Reading.

Question put.

Bill read a second time (according to order), and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Tuesday next.

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