asked the Minister for Defence if he is aware of the great amount of poaching by foreign trawlers off the West coast; and what steps he is taking to prevent it.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Poaching by Foreign Trawlers.
One complaint of illegal fishing by foreign vessels off the west coast has been received by my Department recently. This was on 13th instant and was to the effect that a fleet of foreign trawlers was fishing inside territorial waters between Liscannor Bay and Inisheer. The Corvette L. E. "Maev" in a search of the area at daybreak on 14th idem sighted three foreign trawlers outside territorial waters.
When the stable door is open, and the horse gone, is apparently the time to look for the horse. Would the Minister not consider using some of our own fishing trawlers? They would take the law into their own hands and see that the law is kept.
I am not quite sure that our own fishermen would co-operate in such an effort.
Would the Minister indicate on what grounds he has that information?
I wonder is the Deputy fully informed about the incident on which he is now questioning me.
Very much so.
It may be news to him to hear that we received anything but co-operation when the L. E. "Maev" sought information from one of the skippers.
Is it not a fact they are sick and tired in the west of the way they are being treated, and that is the reason?
They could not be sick and tired; this is the first incident for a very long time. It is a bit soon to start harping since we have had such freedom from poaching for such a long time.
The Minister means freedom from reported poaching. Will the Minister indicate if he will approach the trawler men and give them a gun or two; they will deal with the poachers.
Trawler men who are not prepared to co-operate by responding to requests for information would hardly co-operate in the using of a gun.
If they got the co-operation from the Department first, they might.