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THE DEE MUSSEL FISHERY. ■♦

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THE DEE MUSSEL FISHERY. ♦ GOOD PROSPECTS. The mussel fishing in the Dee (as intimated in the report from our Parkgate correspondent on our inner pages) opened on the first of this month, but owing to the unsettled state of the weather, nothing was done practically until Monday last, when a fair start with about 70 boats was made on the mussel beds in the estuary. The season opens with the best possible prospects. The Dee Fshery Board have again every reason to congratulate themselves upon the energetic action they have taken for the preservation of the shell fish. The bye- law made two years ago to stop the taking of undersized mussels has borne most excellent results. Last year there were several broods of mussels saved from destruction through the operation of this bye-law. This year they have matured into splendid fish, and the fishermen are able to secure from three to four bags per day per man, for which they will undoubtedly receive a good price, seeing that the fish are so fine and large and full of meat. The average price realised by the fishermen is so far 3s. 6d. per bag. It is rather unfortunate that the fishermen are not in more direct communication with the best mussel markets in Manchester and other inland Lancashire towns. It will surprise many people in this neighbourhood to learn that these bags of mussels, for which the fishermen receive only 3s. 6d., are sold in Manchester for 10s. and lis. each. Although the fishmongers pay the carriage from the point of landing, this profit is altogether unreasonable. It cannot be too widely known in the interests of the fishermen what they actually do receive for the mussels, as they ought to get a much better price. Finer mussels than are being at present taken from the Dee beds could not be had; in fact the Dee mussels are sold in Manchester in many public-houses instead of oysters, a customer receiving three mussels and a piece of bread for twopence.

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