HC Deb 29 April 1897 vol 48 cc1231-2

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether his attention has been called to the fishing depredations of foreign trawlers in (he Moray Firth, and the proceedings which occurred in Aberdeen last Friday, when one of the trawlers in question attempted to land its cargo; (2) whether it is lawful for trawlers of foreign Powers to visit fishing grounds on our coast, which, in the interest of the fishing industry, have been closed to all trawlers of our own country; and (3) whether the Government intend to take any action in the matter?


The answer to the first paragraph of the hon. and gallant Member's Question is in the affirmative. As regards the remainder of his Question, as action has been taken in the Court of Session by the master of the trawler in question against the fishery authorities and myself, and the whole proceedings will consequently be submitted to judicial decision, I do not think it advisable to give any opinion in the matter.

SIR CHARLES CAMERON (Glasgow, Bridgeton)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate (1) whether he is aware that on Friday last the German trawler Alster attempted to land at Aberdeen fish caught within the prescribed limit in the Moray Firth, and was only prevented from, so doing by a detachment of bluejackets and marines; and (2) whether, if the law of Scotland provides no effective civil means for enforcing the legal prohibition of the landing of such fish, he will consider the propriety of remedying the defect?


The landing of the fish referred to in the first paragraph of the Question was prevented by the crew of H.M.S. Jackal, which, as the hon. Member is aware, is at the orders of the Fishery Board, and employed in the execution of the Fishery Acts. This employment is strictly in terms of the 8th Section of the Herring Fishery Act of 1880, under which action was taken. If the crew of the Jackal had not been available I do not doubt that other and civil aid might have been made available; and I consequently am unable to see any defect in the law which requires remedy.