HC Deb 08 February 1934 vol 285 cc1305-6

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that on 2nd December, 1932, a conviction was recorded at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for illegal trawling, and that the Sheriff Substitute, having ordered the gear not to be confiscated, was subsequently advised by the officers of the Scottish Fishery Board that under the fishery laws of Scotland he was compelled to confiscate the gear, and ordered its confiscation; that on 27th December, 1933, three convictions were recorded at Banff Sheriff Court for illegal fishing with seine net within the three-mile limit and showing no fishing signals, and that the Sheriff Substitute ordered the gear not to be confiscated; and whether the Fishery Board proposes to take uniform action in such cases?


The convictions referred to in the two parts of the question were under different Acts. On conviction for illegal trawling forfeiture of gear is automatic. On conviction for illegal fishing with seine net, forfeiture of gear is in the discretion of the Sheriff. I may add that no advice was tendered to the Sheriff by officers of the Fishery Board for Scotland, but that his attention was drawn to the terms of the Statute by the Procurator Fiscal who prosecuted. There is, therefore, no question of disconformity of action by the Fishery Board.


May I ask whether it is not the case that in the Act of 1895 the wording of Section 9 and Section 10 is identical in the ease of the seine net fishers and the trawlers—the net may be seized and destroyed?


That question will have to be put down.