HC Deb 12 April 1910 vol 16 cc1070-1

asked the Lord Advocate whether he is aware that on 21st March a trawler, while fishing within the three-mile limit off North Bay, destroyed nine long lines of a fishing-boat from North Bay fishermen and eleven lines of another; that on 23rd March a trawler was working right in the middle of the fishermen's fishing lines, about two miles off Saundray Island, with the result that several of their lines were destroyed, and that the trawler had her funnel and other numbers completely covered up; whether the fishery cruiser was in this neighbourhood on these dates; and what steps he proposes to take to afford the local fishermen more effective protection from the illegal operation of trawlers?


Inquiry has been made as to the occurrences referred to by the hon. Baronet. The facts appear to be that on 21st March two boats lost respectively eleven and eight long lines which had been left in the sea over Sunday unattended, that the loss occurred not inside the three-mile limit, but seven or eight miles off the shore, and that as several trawlers were in the vicinity the loss was ascribed by the line fishermen to the trawlers. One of the crews subsequently recovered eight of the lines, and neither of the crews lodged any complaint with the local fishery officer. My information is that on the 23rd March no lines were lost. The fishery cruiser was patrolling a different part of the coast on the dates mentioned. The Fishery Board for Scotland will take all practicable measures to detect illegal trawling in the neighbourhood referred to.


May I ask whether, in view of the fact that such poaching trawlers as are alluded to in the question not only ruin our fishery villages, but seriously threaten our food supply derived from the sea., he will consider if it would not be possible for the Fishery Board to assist local associations in securing convictions?


The hon. Member should give notice of that question. It does not arise out of the answer.