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Seizure of Steam Trawlers – Galway Bay – 1896

Trawl Net U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  Wikimedia Commons

Trawl Net
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXIV, Issue 4, 22 May 1896, Page 4

Special court was held in Galway for the purpose of trying the charges of illegal fishing preferred against the masters of two steam trawlers seized by a gunboat in Galway Bayfor illegal fishing etc.
The presiding magistrates were Messrs J O. Gardiner, P. M. and M. A. Lynch JP. The prosecution was carried on by Mr Underdown, head of the Customs, and the Inspectors of Fisheries, on whose behalf Messrs Blake and Kenny, solicitors, appeared. The defendants, J. T. Wales, of the trawler Traiton, and John Pettit, of the trawler General Roberts, were represented by Mr Gerald Clonerty, solicitor.

It appears that in the absence of Mr Pinkerton, Mr John Dillon put a question in Parliament which brought about the sending of a gunboat to watch illegal fishing in Galway Bay. Many complaints had been made by Claddaghmen of their boats being nearly run down by steam trawlers fishing the bay in the night time contrary to the fishery regulations.

The very first night the gunboat arrived in the bay the defendants’ vessels were seized. They were each fined £5 and costs for fishing within the prohibited limits, and £25 and costs for steaming about and trawling without having their lights on as prescribed by the bye-laws. Both vessels were from Milford Haven.

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