Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 1994: Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

I hope our distinguished visitors will learn about the problems we have in relation to foreign fishing off our shores. They are welcome to the House.

I was of the opinion that there was no need for a licence to fish rainbow trout. Perhaps I have misunderstood. There is no mention of sea trout. I do not know whether these fish are in other rivers or not but there is a fish in our river called a Liathán or a grayling.

They have them in Clare as well, they call them pinkeens. There is no mention of the white trout or sea trout which weighs anything from a couple of pounds up to ten pounds weight. I have caught sea trout weighing about ten pounds. I am not sure about the method I used for catching them but they were very tasty.

This Bill is welcome and it covers many areas that should have been covered before now. I welcome the protection for fishery officers. While one might criticise them for prosecuting local men who poach the odd fish, patrolling the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast is a very difficult job. I know their boats are fairly good, but they are small. They have to haul illegal nets and trying to get them into the boat on a stormy day is very difficult, especially if those who are fishing illegally are trying to prevent the fisheries officers from hauling the nets. We hear stories of slashers being used against fisheries officers.

The biggest problem is the use of small meshed nets which catch undersized fish, a large amount of which is caught. I do not know if not using the net will solve the problem because when a trawler is towing a big trawl the fish eventually get entangled. I agree with the fines for use and possession of undersized nets, but I do not agree with not punishing a fisherman who has secret holds in his boat. No fisherman along the coast, or a genuine foreign fisherman would want anything like that.

There is no provision for the regulation of lobster and crawfishing in this Bill, perhaps it might be in another Bill. I am concerned because I fished them for 17 years. The sale of undersized lobster is unbelievable. They are on sale in tanks in restaurants everywhere and although through glass they look big in reality they are very small. I point the finger at the Department as many years ago fishermen asked it to bring in a law whereby there has to be an escape in the lobster pot for undersized lobsters but nothing was done.

This year is probably one of the worst ever for lobster fishing. A man fishing 200 lobster pots hauls them for five fish. I often hauled 200 pots for five dozen. Something is wrong there, and I would like to see a law brought in giving a chance for the small lobsters to grow because lobster fishing and crawfishing is a big industry. Some people say "cray" but I was told that a crawfish is a salt water fish, whereas a crayfish is a fresh water fish. I would like to see something brought in to protect the lobster, the crawfish and the crabs. Crabs are all fished out now. Much of this has to do with the rules. I used all the fishing methods myself because I was always looking for a better way to fish.

(Wexford): Can we arrest him now?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

He is a poacher turned gamekeeper.

At least monofilament nets rest on top of the water. Tangle nets are the deadly enemy and should be banned. They sink to the bottom of the water and the lobster, crabs and crawfish get entangled in the net. The nets stay on the bottom and continue to catch fish until they wear away. There should be a total ban on them as they are destroying the fishing industry.

Some 50 per cent of the lobster and crayfish caught in tangle nets will die anyway, or are damaged, because when a net is pulled up and the lobster is tangled up in it, it is pulled to pieces. One half is caught in one mesh, the other half is in the other and the lobster is dead. The fisherman has no way of keeping those lobsters fresh because they must be boiled alive.

Many provisons in this Bill are welcome, but it should make provision for other areas not covered. Other Bills of the same nature should be linked with this Bill.

I did not read every word of the Bill but I read it fairly thoroughly. A man who sells fish must have a licence. For some reason the fisherman is allowed to do what he wants as soon as he has caught the fish. He needs a licence to catch the fish but not to sell it. He is exempted, and the fishermen themselves tend to be the biggest enemy of all. We are all human, we break laws. The fisherman does not need a licence to sell the fish. When he catches the fish he has to sell them and show his licence. That man could be selling them to different places such as hotels and restaurants and not to a fish dealer.

Section 20 covers the requirement for a special licence to export salmon and trout. I know we will be dealing with these on Committee Stage, but why would we drop that requirement? It is most important. I read in an ESRI report that we exported about ten times more salmon than we caught. This proved that the men catching the salmon were not telling us the full story. This will be explained to me, but I would not drop that. A lot hinges on the export licence for salmon.

I wonder how many here know the difference between tinned salmon and dogfish. Some 99 per cent of tinned salmon is spur dogfish which is imported from Korea, Japan or anywhere cheap labour is available. Tinned sardines are what other countries throw away, they are not sardines.

There are also various kinds of salmon — red salmon, pink salmon, real salmon and so on, 90 per cent of which is nothing more than dog fish. To verify this assertion, the contents of four or five different cans of fish should be tested.

Regarding the licence for the export of salmon and trout, the same kind of deceit is taking place with the use of farm salmon, and it is difficult to ascertain if a product on sale is farm salmon or wild Atlantic salmon. To add to this, there are different ways of naming the salmon, such as smoked Irish salmon and Irish smoked salmon. The effect of this trickery is to ensure that nobody gets caught. For example, somebody buying smoked salmon may not realise that the salmon originates from Canada, even although it could be termed smoked Irish salmon or Irish smoked salmon, because once the salmon is smoked in Ireland its origin is immaterial. Indeed, salmon is imported into the country, as is a huge amount of processed salmon.

The licence for the export of salmon and trout is important in ensuring that there is a knowledge of what is being exported and that there are proper statistics. Such statistics will not be obtained in Dingle, County Clare, or elsewhere as it would be foolish for those concerned to provide them. The only way of acquiring accurate statistics therefore is to obtain them on exports, with allowances made on domestic consumption, which is relatively easy to calculate.

The lads in Dingle may be on my back if I elaborate any further; however, they will be happy with the provisions of the Bill, especially those relating to the law breakers from other countries who are going to town on our fisheries off the west coast.

In his speech the Minister referred to the provision of licences for the creation of jobs. In this respect the west has been decimated and there is no place to turn to. There is not a blade of grass growing on the hills of the west, as they are over populated with sheep. Is the House aware of what is happening to the west? The amount of milk produced in the region is dropping every day, and in many instances the big creameries no longer wish to deliver to peninsulas whose inhabitants they can blackmail, as there is nowhere else to sell milk other than to the east of the country.

The west must be examined with a view to keeping people at home. In this respect I plead with the Minister to take it easy with the fishing licences. Those involved in fishing off the west coast are not looking for major finds. All they require is be able to fish as fishermen, in the same way as their fathers and grandfathers.

A halt is being called to this activity because of EU demands. For example, they are told that they cannot fish, then that they may fish in such an area. They are told that if they fish in another area they are only allowed catch ten boxes of fish, and that from the month of August they must stop fishing a certain species and catch another species. The situation has become crazy and out of hand.

I am pleased with the Minister's undertaking that when providing licences these people will be looked after and those who implement the provisions of the Bill will be easy on them. I welcome the Bill wholeheartedly, although it has not gone far enough in this respect.

The proposals in the Bill constitute a further chapter in the comprehensive package of legislation dealing with sea and inland fisheries development and conservation. They are welcome in so far as they go and should make a contribution towards the protection and conservation of one of our most important national resources.

I welcome the Minster of State to the House who today has responsibility for fisheries. Doubtless his friends, the snap net fishermen, whom he represents, are pleased that he is in charge and, perhaps, he would take the opportunity to extend their season as it is an issue they have complained of for a number of years. I had the opportunity to visit the snap net fishermen with the Minister and they are making a big contribution to the economic development of their area.

Any extension of fishing time may be granted in respect of such fishermen, or for professional fishermen who, at this time of year, coming up to the close of the salmon season, are seeking extensions. Keeping in mind the conservation requirements, the Minister would be wise to grant a temporary extension, in so far as it is possible to do so, to some of the key fishing areas such as the Feale and the Cashan in County Kerry, and Dunbeg and Ennistymon in County Clare. The people in these areas are traditional drift net salmon fishermen and derive limited income from their activities. They would benefit enormously from short extensions to the officially declared closure times to enable them supplement their incomes at a time of crisis in the industry.

Many of the coastal communities suffer from a fragile socio-economic base. The decline which has taken place in fishing activity, especially along the western sea board, has had an impact on the benefits which would have accrued from the development of the industry. This decline has been exacerbated by the decline in income generally in many other areas. In this respect the coastal communities have suffered more than anybody else from falling population and declining incomes.

This legislation must be viewed against a background of a structural crisis in the fishing industry in the EU. The over capacity of the fishing fleet has been noted by the EU, given the fleet reduction requirements stipulated for the future. In addition, there are debt levels in the industry, the Spanish and Portuguese fleets will increasingly be coming to fish our waters and the EFTA enlargement, together with the proposed EU enlargement, will probably bring Norway and other fishing countries into the equation.

These developments will create further competition for a declining species, because almost all of the traditional species that have been fished here are under stock pressures. Given this, illegal activities, which have been described both in this House and the other House such as the behaviour of some boats, which operate with illegal holds and so on, must be stamped out. This illegal activity, which has gone on for far too long must be brought to an end and whatever powers the Minister requires to achieve this must be provided by the Houses of the Oireachtas.

It is unacceptable that conduct which has taken place, especially by Spanish boats fishing in Irish waters, should be entertained. The necessity for vigilance by the Minister and the Department is obvious and further measures must be taken, if required, to put an end to illegal activities which are damaging fish stocks, putting the livelihood of those depending on fishing at risk and creating a climate where an industry which could make a more significant contribution will not be in a position to do so. So many matters are covered in this legislation that an easy guide to the Fisheries Acts is required which could be divided into two sections dealing with sea and inland fisheries. The Department of the Marine might avail of the opportunity to publish such a guide giving a breakdown of the laws and regulations governing commercial and inland fishing.

I do not agree with the procedure adopted in this Bill whereby a combination of legislation attempts to deal with totally unrelated issues. Legislation dealing with commercial sea fisheries should be compiled under one guide. I am not suggesting that a consolidation effort must be undertaken now but, looking through the Bill, one can see such diverse matters as eels, shellfish and boats with illegal holds are being dealt with together.

A guide to fisheries legislation is needed to distinguish between the development of sea and inland fisheries, and to explain the fact that certain legislation has been repealed. I found it almost impossible to find what legislation had been repealed and which remained on the Statute Book. The situation is confusing and needs to be explained to the public.

Some of the areas affected by this legislation have a very fragile socio-economic fabric. For that reason I welcome the recent Pesca initiative of the European Union which enables coastal communities suffering from population decline and falling incomes from fishing to seek EU and State funding to develop alternative sources of income. I raise this in the context of developing some of the natural oyster and mussel beds which have been allowed to fall into decay. Apart from the artificial cultivation of fish, such as salmon farming, more attention and funds need to be directed towards helping local community co-operatives and individual fishermen to develop shellfish cultivation. Such action is needed, particularly in areas of traditional shellfish cultivation which have declined through lack of use and sedimentation. Many coastal areas could exploit such opportunities thus creating extra employment for seasonal fishermen in addition to increasing the economic potential of such areas.

Perhaps in his reply the Minister could indicate how the 250 million ECUs provided for under the Pesca initiative will be spent over the coming three to four years. Could he also explain how fishery co-operatives can avail of EU funding for the development of important ancillary aspects of the fishing industry which are in decline?

Development work must be undertaken in fishing harbours which, apart from the five major ones, are in a pretty run-down state. The bulk of small landing places are also in a dilapidated state. The fishing industry cannot be developed without the infrastructure to enable it to thrive. Current EU and State funding is inadequate to deal with this situation and unless some meaningful investment is made, especially in small and medium sized harbours, it will be difficult to restore confidence in the fishing communities that the Government is genuinely aware of their difficulties. It must be made clear that there is a genuine wish to do something positive and worthwhile to help such communities to develop their fishing business and make a living.

I have found the personnel of sea fishery co-operatives to be capable, energetic and innovative. If they see real commitment on the part of Government, they are prepared to invest their share as well. They are more than willing to sit down with the Department and work out the necessary development programmes.

The Minister of State should talk to the county enterprise boards which are familiar with the necessity for development in various isolated coastal communities. He should work out a programme where the co-operatives, the Department and the European Union could carry out an in-depth study in localities where people's livelihood is threatened by a decline in fishing and by falling populations. A way must be found to carry out the proper infrastructural developments required to halt this decline.

I welcome the work that has already been done by the Marine Research Institute in identifying new species. Because of the decline in traditional fish stocks, further efforts are needed to seek out and develop new fishing activities. The disappearance of sea trout, brown trout and rainbow trout stocks has caused deep and widespread concern. Fishery records dating back to before the Famine show that sea trout stocks have inexplicably disappeared on numerous occasions. The stocks disappeared long before the artificial cultivation of salmon here or in Norway. The disappearance of sea trout stocks in the 1940s was blamed on small mesh nets for herring fishing although, even then, it was obvious that that was not the cause.

The central and regional fisheries boards have recently undertaken research in the Dunbeg River in County Clare where no salmon farming takes place. Despite this, the boards found that sea trout stocks were heavily infested with sea lice. I wish to find out from the Department, maybe at a later stage, the result of that research work and whether it can now be certified that in areas where there are no sea cages, sea trout are heavily infested with sea lice and that this does not support the case being made by people opposed to sea farming that this is the cause of the disappearing sea trout.

I welcome the proposals to deal with and tighten up the unauthorised movement of shellfish. In Galway Bay, which is vitally important for oyster fishermen in Galway and north Clare, shellfish were seriously threatened by an outbreak of bonomia, which was imported by indiscriminate fishermen bringing stock from areas affected by that disease and almost put the Galway Bay and north Clare oyster fishing business into a state of decline and ruin. Unauthorised movement of shellfish must be tightened up and I will support the Minister in any action he can take. I would like him to take action against those who were responsible for introducing this disease, which came from France and devastated the French oyster fisheries.

This Bill is welcome and is a further chapter in the legislation on fisheries which is vital to the long term development and conservation of our fishing industry. I hope it will be successful in curtailing the illegal activities which are taking place. I also hope it will be a sign to all those involved in the Irish fishing business that we in this House care about how this industry prospers and develops in future, that we have a vital interest in seeing that it does so and that we will do what we can to ensure this. I hope the Government will do likewise.

I welcome the Minister. The Bill is very satisfactory and will be welcomed in most circles. I agree with Senator Daly's point that an easy guide to sea fisheries and inland fisheries regulations should be put in place. We tend to get bogged down in different types of regulations and an easy guide would be helpful to everybody involved in fishing. Most people are happy with the Bill from a number of viewpoints. The tightening up of licences, control of which is now being given to regional fisheries boards, is welcomed by them and is a step in the right direction.

The position of fisheries officers in their line of duty is addressed in the Bill and needed to be so. Some of them come in for a great deal of flak and intimidation. It is only proper and fair that they are looked after properly and that those who do not abide by the law are subject to its full rigours.

I wish to bring three issues to the notice of the Minister which I believe could be tightened up in the legislation. The first relates to salmon and eel dealers licences. Multi-store supermarkets, such as Dunnes Stores and Superquinn, require only one licence to cover all their retail outlets. Some of these companies have as many as 40 outlets. It is the opinion of the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board that this is inequitable for smaller fish store owners who are in competition with these larger organisations. The board supports the introduction of branch licences at reduced fees. The second issue is that salmon which are caught illegally can be smoked and sold legally. To avoid this occurrence, the board recommends that the words "the excluding of smoked salmon" be added to the wording of section 155 of the Principal Act. The third issue relates to clarification of the definition of rainbow trout. There is no closed season for rainbow trout at present. This creates difficulties for field staff in the carrying out of their fisheries protection role. It is recommended that trout be redefined in section 3 to include rainbow trout. Fisheries boards would like to see these three issues tackled. We may be able to discuss them further on Committee Stage. The Minister might examine them and agree to tighten up the regulations.

There is great potential for sea fisheries. There is also great potential for inland fisheries, particularly from a tourist point of view. For this reason we would like to see more money provided by the Government. The money allocated this year is welcomed by all involved in the tourism and fishing industries but we would like to see more provided.

I have been enhanced by the magnificent contributions made by people familiar with the industry. We have heard pleas from the heart from people directly involved in fishing, from Dingle, Clare, Galway and the west coast. I sincerely hope the Minister for State will take back to the Minister the heartfelt views expressed here, particularly on the depopulation of the west and the importance of the industry. At present the industry provides 15,000 jobs. It has a great potential for the future, and the Government and the EU recognise this. I always felt the amount of money invested in the industry by the Government and the EU was not adequate. As an island we could not be better positioned geographically. Having listened to the magnificent contributions of Senator Fitzgerald and the former Minister, Senator Daly, my small contribution seems inadequate.

I wish to speak about my area, the lake district of Westmeath. Section 15 increases the protection afforded to fisheries officers on foot of the recommendations of the Ballycotton tribunal. There are many magnificent lakes in Westmeath — Ennell, Owel, Derrvaragh and Loch Lene. Fishing is very important for tourism. Many local people cannot afford to leave the country on holidays or go to seaside resorts. Often the only holiday they have is going to Louch Lene for two weeks where young people learn how to swim and enjoy the weather. The anglers in our area have been terrific when it comes to minding the lakes for all the community and holding sporting events there which have attracted people from many countries, but from Germany in particular. In the village of Finea, Lough Sheelin and other areas one meets Germans and English people.

At the weekends, people come to the lakes and with their 75 to 100 horsepower engine speed boats cut fishermen off from the lakes. People can no longer bathe because of the big waves generated by the speed boats and young children who try to swim are being thrown back onto the shore.

The anglers made a submission to Westmeath County Council and we received a deputation of over 100 people on this highly emotive issue. Having researched and consulted with all of the organisations in the area, including speed boat people we passed a motion to allocate to speed boats half of Derrvaragh Lake which is a beautiful part of the lake at the Crooked Wood. We intended with organisations such as the Office of Public Works, the Department of the Marine, the local authority, the ESB and local anglers to develop this amenity to almost as high a standard as Killaloe.

We then applied for ministerial approval. For reasons best known to the Minister and the Department officials, despite my best efforts they have not seen fit to approve the decision of Westmeath County Council. The anglers in my area feel very aggrieved about this. Last Sunday we had to leave Lough Lene and take in the boats and the children who were swimming there because these speed boat people took over. Some of the engines on these boats could be used to fly light aircraft. I want the Minister to approve the agreement reached by all political parties on the county council.

Senator Daly called for a national plan to protect our waterways and to deal with technology, whether motor boat engines or whatever. Sport should be for all people and not just for the rich which is the case in the lake county of Westmeath at the moment.

I welcome Section 15 and look forward to the Minister of State's reply. I raised this issue now rather than on the Adjournment tomorrow evening to give the Minister and his officials time to come back to me on it. I welcome the Bill wholeheartedly and wish it a safe passage through this House.

Wexford): I thank the Senators for their contributions to the debate. Like them, I welcome the strengthened powers and deterrents the Bill provides. In the past year, we witnessed an alarming increase in the number of foreign boats poaching our fishing stocks while the courts have lacked the sanctions necessary to penalise those convicted of blatantly committing such offences.

The new fines should be a major deterrent. Faced with a potential fine of £200,000 which at current exchange rates works out at more than 39 million pesetas the owners of these vessels will surely think again about the wisdom of running the gauntlet of our protection service. They will also stand a much greater chance of having their vessels confiscated, than has been the case up to now, in certain circumstances for a first offence if that offence is considered sufficiently grievous.

The Bill also addresses the recent piracy in midland eel fisheries where catches and gear have been robbed from legitimate fishermen engaged in the lawful fishing of eels. The regulation for the sale and possession of eels will make it virtually impossible in the future for these elements to profit from their dishonest greed.

I also share the general welcome for the strengthening of penalties for assaults on fishery officers, some of whom have suffered vicious attacks in recent years. This cannot be tolerated. These officers are charged with the protection of our fisheries and cannot be left vulnerable to common criminals. Under the new provisions, people convicted on indictment of having assaulted a fishery officer risk spending up to five years in prison and such fines as the court may deem appropriate, having regard to the seriousness of the offence. The Bill also provides for penalties for the obstruction of an officer in the course of his duty.

I share Senator Belton's sentiments on the value to the local economy of coarse fishing by English tourists and the need for river bank developments. Senators will be aware that this year, for the first time, EU structural funding will be available for inland fisheries development. I am sure the fisheries boards will use that funding to the maximum benefit. That is a welcome change as, heretofore, such funding was not available. I hope to see much development in that area.

Senator Belton also mentioned land owners' liability with regard to trespassers. This will be covered in a new Bill sponsored by the Ministers for Justice and Equality and Law Reform. There is a general call for such legislation from land owners' and we hope legislation will come on stream fairly quickly.

Senator Belton also raised the question of eel processing. Eels are fairly big business in the midlands and also in my county. It has baffled me for quite some time that eels are not processed here but are exported live. I hope new development plans will see indigenous companies processing eels, which would create much needed jobs. The Minister has a keen interest in developing this industry and I will pass the Senator's views on to him.

In considering Senator Fitzgerald's contribution, I asked my officials if we could make the Bill retrospective and have him arrested for some of his statements on his illegal fishing. He was being honest and I suppose we have all done some illegal fishing over the years. He referred to hidden holds and confiscation and the Bill provides in section 14 that in addition to fines of up to £200,000 for hidden holds, if the court considers an offence or combination of offences to be sufficiently grievous, it may order the boat to be forfeited on a first offence. I know the Senator has very strong views on that.

Senator Fitzgerald also referred to trout angling licences. A licence will not be required for angling for rainbow trout. Sea trout and white trout are included under the definition of salmon and, therefore, require a licence. He also referred to under sized lobsters. The Department recently consulted with lobster fishermen and is considering the introduction of appropriate by-laws to conserve stocks. There is a minimum size requirement in respect of lobsters but we agree with the Senator that it is difficult to enforce, particularly among holiday makers who set pots during the summer months. The Senator made a number of suggestions on how it could be controlled which I will pass on to the Minister. We hope, following further consultations, to be able to introduce some new by-laws.

Senator Fitzgerald also spoke about the salmon export licence. The removal of this requirement was necessary to comply with European Union law. The Minister had no option, but he believes that the health and hygiene provisions and general sampling arrangements are adequate to protect the consumer here and abroad. Under EU law the Minister had no choice but to abolish that licensing system.

Senator Daly was critical that sea and inland fishing were more or less dealt with together in the Bill. The urgency of provisions relating to eels and shellfish necessitated using the first available opportunity to bring in new regulations. That is the reason for the dual sea and inland character of this Bill. The Minister had no option but to deal with it now, rather than wait until a later stage.

Senator Daly also mentioned local developments. The Department is engaged in consultations with local interests in fishing regions along with Leader, the county enterprise partnership boards andProgramme for Economic and Social Progress, to see how best available funding should be spent. There have been a number of developments in my area on the River Slaney. The new River Slaney management plan has been funded by Leader and the county enterprise partnership boards. All the different fishery interests were brought together, including drift net fishermen. Members will know it is difficult to bring them on board because they have a traditional way of fishing and have felt threatened by different Ministers for many years, particular when one month or six weeks were taken off their fishing season.

When Senator Daly was Minister for the Marine he restored a number of weeks on different occasions, but they were still not happy because the full number of weeks was not restored. We will meet the Minister for the Marine, Deputy Andrews, next week to see if an extra week or two could be added to the present fishing season. Given that I have taken this Bill for him today, I hope it will encourage him to add an extra week. If rod fishermen hear me talking about this in the Seanad today, they will shoot me.

Senator Daly's concerns about sea trout are shared by the Minister who recently accepted the recommendations of a high level task force chaired by T.K. Whitaker. These recommendations are now being implemented by the Department. I am sure when Senator Daly was Minister for the Marine he had some say in initiating some of the task force recommendations which are now coming on stream.

The question of guides to inland fishing was raised. The various regional fishery boards have published guides to game fishing, coarse fishing and sea angling in the regions and they are readily available in board offices. Under the Bill, each supermarket outlet will require a salmon dealer's licence, which will cost approximately £60. Some Senators said this was a little unfair. Heretofore, a supermarket chain had one licence and if there was a difficulty in one store, it was carried on into all its supermarkets. Under this Bill, if a supermarket in County Wexford has a problem, it is confined to that branch, while other may continue to trade. This provision is welcome.

Senator Cassidy raised the issue of speed boats. This problem is not confined to his area; it is also a problem in other parts of the country. The Minister is aware of the problem and he is trying to come up with a solution. I will pass on Senator Cassidy's trenchant views on this to the Minister and I will ask him to take some of the suggestions and remedies proposed on board.

Senator Daly spoke about the development of small fishing harbours. When I was on the other side of the House, I continually argued that small harbours were being neglected, not alone in County Wexford but throughout the country. The five major harbours have always received a reasonable amount of funding. The Minister for the Marine has just announced £2 million for Kilmore Quay harbour and a substantial amount for a small harbour in Achill. Obviously, he is taking on board some of the suggestions we made. I come from a fishing county where there are a number of harbours where fishermen are prepared to contribute a certain amount of money, but they need support from the Department of the Marine.

I will pass on Senators' views to the Minister so he can take on board some of the suggestions made. With the Leader programme, the county enterprise partnership boards and the Department, it should not be beyond the bounds of possibility to come up with a plan to develop some of our small harbours. There are tremendous fishing facilities in terms of boats and manpower but harbours lack basic facilities. I hope the Minister will take that on board.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining Stages today.