CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - GALWAY FISHING INDUSTRY.

asked the Minister for Fisheries whether he is aware that on Saturday, October 30th, 1&26, herrings were sold by the Galway fishing fleet at 2/- per 120, and hake at 4/- per doz., while on the same date herrings were sold in Dublin, retail, at 1½d. and 2d. each, and the smallest hake at 4/2 each, and whether in view of this he has taken or intends to take any steps to provide facilities for bringing the Galway fishing catches to the Dublin market so that the Galway fishermen might get an adequate return for the labour employed in catching the fish, and that the price of fish may be reduced to the Dublin consumer.

asked the Minister for Fisheries whether he is aware that during the week ended November 2nd, 1926, the catches of fish by the Galway fishing fleet averaged from two to seven thousand per boat; that on Saturday of that week and on several occasions lately, these catches were left unsold; whether he has received repeated representations from those interested in the Galway fishing industry urging that a fish-curing station should be established in Galway under the auspices of his Department, and if he will state what action has been taken or is intended to be taken in the matter.

I am not informed of the day-to-day prices realised for the various kinds of fish landed at the different fishing ports of An Saorstát. The returns received by my Department of the quantities of fish received in the Dublin market during the week, including the date mentioned in the question show that 65 hampers of fish came from Galway, each weighing 2 cwt.; of these 18 hampers were hake. The average price of hake in that market for the week was 75/-. I have no knowledge of the retail prices at which fish in its various forms is sold in Dublin.

During the week ended 30th October last the Dublin market was more or less glutted by heavy consignments of herrings of a quality too poor for curing. being mostly what are known in the fish trade as "spents."

The usual facilities exist for sending fish by rail from Galway to Dublin or other centres. The fish landed from Galway Bay up to noon can be on sale in Dublin next morning. The fact that the catches referred to in the question were landed on a Saturday explains very largely the rather low prices realised.

Adequate facilities for curing herrings exist in Galway. The Department holds stocks of salt and barrels on the spot. There are several herring curers in Galway, and herrings were cured early in the autumn season by these. I have no doubt that if the quality of the herrings landed by the boats on the date referred to by the Deputy had been such as to render them fit for curing, these curers would have been ready to deal with them.