HC Deb 20 August 1894 vol 29 c24
MR. BUCHANAN (Aberdeenshire, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether, in view of the continued complaints of trawling near our coasts and its destructive effects, Her Majesty's Government will take steps during the Recess of carrying out the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Sea Fisheries to extend the territorial limit for fishing purposes; and whether he is aware that already certain Foreign Powers, for example, Denmark, Norway, and Portugal, do exercise jurisdiction for fishing purposes beyond the three-mile limit?


As regards the last paragraph of the hon. Member's question, I am informed by the Foreign Office that the jurisdiction of four miles for fishing purposes has been claimed by Norway. They are not aware of any such claim on the part of Denmark. She is a party to the North Sea Fisheries Convention, which fixes the limit at three miles. Portugal has an arrangement with Spain fixing the limit at six miles, but it is not applicable to the vessels of other powers. Claims of this kind beyond the limit generally recognised by International Law can only be exercised over the vessels of Foreign Powers with the express or tacit assent of those powers. The proposal made by the Select Committee on Sea Fisheries, who reported that they were sensible of the difficulties of making International Regulations, is one for the consideration of the Foreign Office and the Board of Trade.