§ 20. Mr. Brewis
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what encouragement he is giving to commercial oyster fisheries in Scotland.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mir. J. A. Stodart)
Research into the breeding and rearing of oysters off the west coast of Scotland has been carried out by scientists of the Scottish Marine Biological Association, which is grant aided from public funds. Largely as a result the former commercial oyster fishery at Loch Sween has been revived in recent years, and interest is being shown in the commercial development of two other areas where there were commercial fisheries in the past.
§ Mr. Brewis
I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but can he help further by removing one anomaly, as a result of which salmon fishings are not rated whereas commercial oyster fishings are?
§ Mr. Stodart
What my hon. Friend says is true, as a result of rerating which took place in 1958. As he will realise, a review of the rating system is to be under-taken in the not distant future. Perhaps that would be an appropriate time for him to raise the matter.
§ Mr. Woodburn
In connection with the experiment of keeping the oysters in the oyster beds, has there been any attempt to investigate the possibility of undertaking simultaneous experiments to breed pearls in these oysters, with a view producing a greater quantity of Scottish pearls?
§ Mr. Stodart
I cannot answer that question without notice, but such is the attraction of the possibility that I shall certainly draw this proposal to the attention of the research association.