§ SIR D. MACFARLANE (Argyllshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland if his attention has been called to the extreme diversity of opinion amongst fishermen in and about Loch Fyne upon the subject of the close time for herrings; whether he is aware that the close time which is suitable for one locality is not suitable for others; and whether he will instruct the Fishery Board to take evidence on the spot with the view of making some alteration in the present Rules?
§ SIR G. TREVELYAN
I am fully aware that there is a considerable difference of opinion as to a close-time for herring-fishing on the West Coast. In respect to Loch Fyne, I am informed by the Fishery Board that the voluntary close-time extends from l5th March till 1st June, and was established in 1888 by the Argyll and Bute Fishermen's Association. This close-time was, up to this year, strongly supported by all sections of this Association. Quite recently the southern section of the Association petitioned against it, and the Board have informed the various sections that they desire to leave the question of close-time in the hands of the fishermen themselves. I may add that an inquiry was made by the Fishery Board in 1892, which disclosed a very considerable divergence of opinion amongst the fishermen, fish- 312 curers, and others interested in regard to the question of establishing a close-time for herrings. In all the circumstances, I do not propose to institute any further inquiry at present.