HC Deb 20 February 1912 vol 34 cc457-8

asked the Lord Advocate if he is aware that the fishing in the Moray Firth by foreign trawlers, in place of decreasing as the outcome of recent legislation by the Government, has now increased to such an extent that the foreign companies systematically and regularly trawling in the Firth have provided a fast vessel known as a carrier, which, trans-shipping the catches in the Firth, transports the fish to the markets where the highest prices can be secured; and whether it is the intention of the Government to allow this state of matters, whereby the Firth is maintained as a strict preserve for the foreign trawler alone, to continue?


I have no information pointing to the use of a carrier for the purposes suggested by my hon. Friend, and would be much obliged if he would communicate to me any evidence in his possession. According to my information, the occasions on which trawlers have been observed in the Firth have, in fact, diminished.


asked the Lord Advocate if his attention has been drawn to the recently developed method of fishing with anchored cod-nets now carried on in the Moray Firth by the Moray Firth fishermen themselves, whereby more damage is being done to the Firth as a spawning ground than could ever possibly be done by trawlers; and, seeing that the main contention of the Government in the passing of the Trawling in Prohibited Areas Act was the preservation of the Moray Firth as a spawning ground, he will reconsider the whole question with a view of putting an end to the present state of affairs, which is injurious to the fishing interests of Great Britain?


I am aware that there has been a great development in the method of fishing for cod in the Moray Firth referred to by my hon. Friend, but I am unable, as advised, to accept his suggestion that it is injurious to spawning or forms a ground for reconsidering the policy of the Government.