§ Mr. William Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information he has as to the population of pallen remaining in Lough Neagh; what comparable figures or estimate he has for earlier years; whether any steps are being taken to preserve this fish; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
[holding answer 27 February 1990]: No recent study has been carried out on the population levels of pollen in Lough Neagh. Neither is any statistical information on population figures available for earlier years.
The Fisheries Conservancy Board for Northern Ireland is the body statutorily charged with the conservation and protection of salmon and inland fisheries including pollen in Northern Ireland.
Fishermen taking pollen are required to hold a licence for a single wall set net or trammel net for the taking of freshwater fish and under byelaw 37 of the Fisheries Consolidated and Amendment Byelaws (NI) 1989 can 214W only do so with nets of a mesh size between 25rn.m and 32mm. This prevents the killing of immature pollen and large spawning adult pollen.
In addition to this, the close season for pollen fishing is 31 October to 31 January and is designed to protect spawning stock.