FISHING INDUSTRY. A good deal of annoyance, is caused to our local fishermen through the recent legislation which compels owners of boats of five tons and over, having an oil enbine, to carry a certified engineer. A second second class certificate can be procured by most fishermen, but that only, allows fishing within a restricted area, viz., inside the harbour, whereas boats of the old type, having no oil engine, are allowed to cruise as far away as Stewart Island. This is indeed a hardship, especially to those men who have been at sea all their lives, and have not had the many advantages of a school. To pass an examination, and secure a first-class certificate requires at least a fair education, so that the new legislation means that perhaps a large number of men may be thrown out of their moans of living. On the representation of a number of fish merchants, and to assist a large number of fishermen, Mr V. Metzger, has commenced classes of instruction at a very small fee for those wishing to go in for examinations to obtain the necessary certificate. One of the effects of the legislation in question is that since the introduction of oil engines many of the fishermen have invested Their savings in larger boats., fitted with oil engines, to enable them to go further afield with g'reater safety, but they now find that these vessels have to underg-o an annual survey, and be equipped almqst the same as ocean-going steamers, and compelled to carry a captain and an engineer. Men with the necessary certificates are hand to find, as in the merchant service their earnings are more assured and the work more congenial, so that in many cases they have no option but to lose their savings and sell their vessels at a sacrifice or else take off the propellers so as to comply with the law and go back to sail and the smaller boats. Legislation is all very well, but when it exposes such handicaps upon hard-working colonists, one is inclined to say—“the law is an ass.” Of course high-paid officials will be indignant, but they have not to contend against wind and weather as well as restrictive legislation.
Our wharf has had a busy appearances this week, the large ocean-go-ing steamers Morayshire and Paparoa having taken away good cargoes of produce. The s.s. Maori is due this week, with direct shipments from Home ports. The U.S.S. Co.’s Moeraki, Wanaka, anh. Kaonya have also been in port this week, and the Huddart Parker Co.’s Wimmera. Some inquiries have been made recently 7 as to when our choral society are likely to be heard of again, but no one seems able to supply the necessary information. The many friends of Mr D. Burtenshaw will he pleased to hear that after a severe illness of over two months he is gradually being restored to health. A special meeting of the new town council was held on Monday evening, the principal business being the election of the various committees to carry out the works of the borough.
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Bluff Notes., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 5, 4 May 1907
Bluff Notes. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 5, 4 May 1907
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