HC Deb 22 March 1928 vol 215 cc586-8W

asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) what amount of money has been spent by his Department in 1925, 1926, and 1927, respectively, on research into the spawning and the habits of mackerel?

(2) whether any Reports have been received during the last three years by the Ministry from researchers or local fishery committees on the movement and habits of mackerel in the English Channel or the Bristol Channel; and, if so, in what publication they have been made available for the use and guidance of fishermen?


No expenditure has been incurred by the Ministry in the years referred to specifically for the purpose of investigations of the spawning and the habits of mackerel. The only scientific reports or papers published on the subject of this fish in the past three years of which I am aware are a report published by the Danish Fisheries Commission dealing with the relation between hydrographical conditions in the Cattegat and Skagerak and the catch of mackerel in those waters and an article of a general character published in February, 1927, by a French naturalist, M. Jean Le Gall, in a weekly paper devoted to the fishing industry, called "La Peche Maritime." The life history of the mackerel is still in many respects obscure, but a good deal of information about it is available, particularly in reports published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association ciation of the United Kingdom and in the reports of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, with both of which bodies the Ministry works in intimate collaboration. If the hon. Member will indicate to me any particular points upon which she desires enlightenment, I shall be happy to give her the best information I can procure. I am considering the possibility of publishing a leaflet setting forth briefly and in simple form, for the information of fishermen, so much of the available knowledge of the life history of the mackerel as may be expected to be useful to them in their pursuit of this fish.