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COLWYN BAY.

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CONWAY.

THE LANCASHIRE AND CHESHIRE…

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The Puffin Island Biological…

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The Puffin Island Biological Station. An interesting report, edited by Professor Phillip J. White, M.B., of the North Wales Uni- versity College, Bangor, has just been issued i relative to the work done during the past two years in connexion with the Biological Station I established 011 pu;fin Island, situated at the I entrance to the Menai Straits. Feeling the f necessity of working (says Professor White) in co-operation with the Committee of the Western Sea Fisheries District, so that the best results might be achieved when carrying on fishery investigations, I wrote stating this to the Com- mittee. Although written a considerable time ago, my letters, through an oversight, only came under the notice of the Committee last October. The delay is to be regretted, as work I wished to do could not be undertaken without their help. In 1894 my paper on The Sea Fisheries of North Wales "was published, and copies were sent to the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, and to those who were likely to be interested. Although the paper is only a somewhat meagre outline of the fisheries of the District, I venture to think that it has been the means of drawing more attention to them. Since that paper was written a considerable advance has been made towards the protection of the fisheries by the appointment of three bailiffs for the Western District. The District is divided into three portions, and an officer supervises each,and enforces the bye-laws. It is likewise gratifying to know that the Lanca- shire Sea Fisheries Committee have rendered valuable assistance to the Western Committee by sending their steamer from time to time to their District to examine the fishing grounds, and to prevent illegal methods of fishing. The fishery officers, who have received instructions to help me, are at present assisting in the collection of of fishery statistics for the district. I have drawn up and distributed forms for the collection of these statistics, and a number have already been returned filled. Considering the fact that there has been no regular system of collecting statistics through the District, some of those now obtained must of necessity be incomplete. The officers are obtaining the information from the Coast- guard Stations, from Railway Stations, and from the fishermen themselves much discrimination is therefore required in order to avoid error. The figures are being obtained for the last three years. Although modest results only can be expected, still, the present efforts that are being made to obtain these statistics will stimulate a more systematic return of them in future. Last summer I examined the natural oyster ground in the estuary of the River Ogwen, and at present I am giving attention to the Conway Mussel Fishery. It is to be hoped that by-and-by a trained scientist who has given special attention to sea fisheries will be appointed to look after the interests of the District. There is so much to be done in investigating the individual fisheries, and at present so little can be accomplished in this direction. THE CONWAY MUSSEL FISHERY. I have commenced with Mr Robert Jones, the fishery officer for this part of the district, an examination of the mussel grounds in the River Conway. With regard to the raking of mussels from the bed of the river, when the rake is pulled up from the bottom it brings with it quantities of gravel, to which the mussels, old and young, adhere. When the boat has secured a load, it is brought up to Conway, where the sorting takes place. This consists in separating the full- grown mussels from the gravel. The latter, with the young mussels still adhering to it, is, as a rule simply thrown on the banks of the river, and the young mussels gradually get smothered with the accumulated gravel of subsequent fish- ings. The steep gravel banks 011 the south side of the river by the town are monuments to this industry of destruction in the past. There are some fisherm.-n, to their credit be it said, who, appreciating the enormity of this waste, do all the sorting in their boats, and return the unremunera- tive residue to the river. The young mussels in times past might have been collected and sold to supply mussel beds in other parts of the country, where the conditions are not so favourable to their production. New bye-laws for the protection of the young mussels are about to be enforced. One of these fixes the size of saleable mussels at 2:1 inches, while another provides that all mussels under the saleable sizes are to be returned to the river at such places as the fishery officer may direct. Meanwhile we are trying to determine what places are best suited for this purpose. These bye-laws should have been passed long ago. There is no doubt that at present the river is being over-fished, and unless care is taken, the mussel beds cannot long withstand the extrava- gant demands that are made upon them.

Rules to Avoid Bathing Fatalities.

The Sea Route from North Wales…

Her Majesty's Reign.

COLWYN BAY.

THE LANCASHIRE AND CHESHIRE…