Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Seizure of Fishing Nets.

18.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries why nets were returned to three fishermen in North Kerry who were convicted of illegal fishing in the area covered by Limerick Board of Conservators while a fourth person similarly convicted was denied any such return.

I am informed that three nets were seized in the Kerry area in May, 1969, because they were overlength and, also, were found on board boats during the prohibited weekend close period. Following examination of the circumstances in these cases, the Limerick board decided to reduce the nets to proper length and give them back for the time being, pending a court verdict on the alleged offences.

My Department is aware that in two other cases of forfeiture of nets in the Kerry area, the nets were retained by the Limerick board but evidently a request was not made for their return on a similar temporary basis.

Following court convictions in all five cases, the Limerick board have made recommendations to me on final disposal of the nets and these are being examined.