Archives - November 1982 THE Minister of State's announcement this week that there is to be no limit on the amount of oysters to be taken from Tralee Bay has been described by Fine Gael's Bernie Gannon as another of his election goodies and by Labour as "gross irresponsibility."
Mr. McEllistrim's office told The Kerryman this week that no limit is being put on the tonnage taken from the bay and that the season is not to be shortened. The Minister also said that a grant of £16,000 is being paid through Bord Iascaigh Mhara for culture development of oysters in Tralee Bay. But Mrs. Gannon said that the policy "as everyone understood it" was that there would be a limit of 60 tonnes and that the season would be a short one. A spokesman at Dick Spring's election office in Tralee said that if there had been an order lifting the limit on oyster catches that it was an act of gross irresponsibility.
"The beds will be totally plundered in a few years and no good to anyone," the spokesman said. Mr. Michael Quinn, chairman of Tralee Oyster Fisheries Society and of the Regional Fisheries Board, said that they were not aware of any change in the Oyster Fishery Order of 1981 which gave his society the exclusive right to remove oysters from Tralee Bay.
He said in a statement to The Kerryman: "So as to avoid any misunderstandings which might arise from the statement issued by the Minister of State, the position is that the Society is the grantee of 1981 Oyster Fishery Order giving to it the exclusive right to remove oysters from the bay by any means whatever.
"The fishery is at a critically low level. A general meeting of members decided to continue restriction of fishing to three hours per day on two days weekly for the remainder of the present season and to end the season on January 31, that is one month earlier than previously. The society, which has 12 people employed on protection duty, will enforce that decision."
Mr. Quinn said that neither the society nor the Board had received any indication of any change in the Oyster Fishery Order nor of any new by-law and that fishermen and buyers could therefore be assured that the existing regulations will be applied for the remainder of the season.