ο»Ώ " LANCASHIRE AND WESTERN SEA FISHERIES. ...... + β€”|1904-01-27|The Chester Courant and Advertiser for North Wales - Welsh Newspapers Online
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LANCASHIRE AND WESTERN SEA FISHERIES. + — Mr. R. A. Dawson, superintendent of the Lan- cashire and Western Sea Fisheries, in his report for the quarter ending December, deals at some length with sea fishery legislation. Mr. Dawson remarks that an appeal has lately been sent to the members of the Lancashire and Western Sea i Fisheries Committee with the object of-having the size of mesh reduced in trawl nets from seven to six inches in the district in winter time, for the purpose of taking a greater number of small plaice and young codfish. He points out that sea fisheiy legislation was introduced for the purpose of staying the great destruction of undersized and immature sea fish, which was fast depleting the fishing grounds; and in order that a better fish food supply might be insured to the public, together with .a. better harvest for the fishermen. Mr. Dawson adds that the present appeal is against the protection of undersized sea fish, and aims at the greater capture of, at any rate, two of the species—undersized plaice and cod. If the ob- ject of legislation were to capture the greatest number of sea fish regardless of condition as to whether undersized or immature, the quickest way to do this would be to let in the steam trawler at present debarred from trawling anywhere within the district, and whose power of capture is put down as at least seven times greater than that of a sailing trawler. Sea fishery legislation is. however for- the purpose of staying this kind of slaughter and not to encourage it. The effect of killing undersized sea fish is on a par with the killing of young birds or other animals, for in- stance if all chickens were killed, there would be no hens and then no eggs. The Superintend- ent recalls that five Board of Trade public in- quiries have been held in the district into the question of size of mesh in fish nets, and that on the 6th of March, 1902, the bye-law prescribing the 7-inch mesh was again confirmed, and its sphere of action extended. In conclusion. Mr. Dawson asks, "Would or would not legislation that allows the taking of larger quantities of undersized and immature plaice and cod tend to provide a larger land more permanent food supply for the public, and a more permanent and better harvest for the fishermen? As regards the fisheries, the weather during the quarter interfered considerably with the work. especially with that of the sailing trawlers. Good catches, especially of soles, were made in favourable weather, and in Jttedwhart Bay some large catches of plaice were secured, one trawler making a record catch. Good takes of plaice were made in October by the Southport boats, but the fishing was not so good in Novem- ber and December, and most of the boats put on their shrimp nets. The Mersey inshore trawlers did not do well, but further along the Welsh coast figh were more plentiful. and some good hauls were made in the Menai Straits. In Cardigan Bay herring fishing was a failure, but in Nevin Bay. Holyhead, and round the Anglesey ooast to Llandudno it was very good-better than for several seasons, as many as 7,000 or 8,000 being taken with four small nets in Moelfre Bay. Shrimps were plentiful, while mussels, though not plentiful, were of good quality. During the quar- ter there were seven prosecutions, six for taking undersized shell fish and one for taking sea fish in a shrimp net. Convictions were given in six ■cases, and one of the shell fish cases was with- drawn.

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