HC Deb 29 April 1879 vol 245 cc1401-2

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether there would be any objection to enforcing the existing Law as to close time in the herring fishery in Loch Fyne, if the majority of the fishermen living in the district desire it; and, whether the recommendation of the Royal Commission that trawling be not allowed above Otter Point will be adopted?


With regard to the first of these Questions, I may say that I am quite prepared to consider any suggestions that may be made to me in regard to the enforcing of a close time on the part of the coast referred to. At present the matter stands in a very peculiar position, because while there is an Act of 1860 unrepealed, fixing a close time for that part of the coast, at the desire of the fishermen themselves, and in consequence of the difficulty of putting the Act in operation, that close time has never been enforced, and the repeal of the statute has been recommended by a Royal Commission. In regard to the second part of the Question, I cannot hold out any hope that we can do anything to suppress trawling, and for these reasons:—The Admiralty at one period did try to put down trawling, and the result was that on repeated occa- sions there was bloodshed, and, in consequence, that part of the law was repealed on the suggestion of a Royal Commission. I do not think it is at all likely that such a law will be re-enacted. Certainly there is nothing in the Report of the recent Commission to justify the Government in bringing such a proposal before the House.