§ Sir PARK GOFF
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that lobsters in this country are unmarketable 1459W unless they are nine inches in length, whereas foreign lobsters of eight inches and under are marketable in this country; and, if this is so, will he take steps to make the Regulations apply equally?
The position with regard to the capture and sale of lobsters is as follows: Under Section 9 of the Fisheries (Oysters, Crabs and Lobsters) Act, 1877, it is illegal to take, have in possession for sale, expose for sale, consign for sale, or buy for sale, any lobsters less than eight inches long, and that enactment applies to lobsters whether they are of British or foreign taking. Under bye-laws made under the Sea Fisheries Act, 1888, it is illegal to catch lobsters under nine inches in length in certain sea fisheries districts, including that covering the part of Yorkshire which my hon. Friend represents. These bye-laws are made by the Local Sea Fisheries Committees with the object of protecting and maintaining the stock of lobsters in the interests of the fishermen, and I have no power to alter them unless invited to do so by the committees concerned.