HC Deb 11 July 1917 vol 95 cc1882-3
9. Mr. FELL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can arrange for a temporary extension of the fishing area allowed on the north-east cost of Scotland, having regard to the fact that there are shoals of herrings outside the fishing limits at the present time and few within the limits, and that this source of supply of food will only be available during the present month?


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has received a telegram from Fraserburgh stating that a mass meeting of fishermen and fish salesmen representative of the whole Scottish coast and fish merchants from all the chief distributing cities and towns of England and Scotland, held there on Monday, unanimously urged the Admiralty to grant an extension of area to the North-East, as already requested, considered it absolutely futile to continue fishing in the Kinnaird Bell Rock area at present allowed, and stated that all steam drifters were already compelled through sheer want to give up fishing entirely, that this is the best month of the season, and that unless the request is granted immediately fishermen will have to abandon fishing and kippering, freshing and preserving establishments will have to be closed down, and pointing out the importance during the present food crisis of the continuance of the herring fishery; and, if so, will he say what steps, if any, he proposes to take in the matter?


The question of extending the area in which fishing is permissible in the locality under reference has received careful consideration. It is, I regret to say, not found possible to grant the extension requested.


As the fishermen are prepared to run all the risks, cannot something be done to get the fish ashore?


I am afraid we cannot do that. The safeguarding and patrolling these areas imposes a very heavy task on the Fleet, a task cheerfully undertaken. Fishing areas are opened up to the full limit of our resources and capacity.