HC Deb 28 January 1930 vol 234 cc851-3W

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether any inquiries are being made by the Fishery Board for Scotland with a view to opening up a trade in tinned herrings with our Colonies and dependencies in tropical Africa?


Inquiries as to possible markets for tinned herrings were made some years ago by the Board, though not with reference to tropical Africa. Further inquiries are now being made by the Board.

Major WOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has taken any steps to allay the apprehension entertained by cod-net fishermen in the Moray Firth in view of the destruction caused to the nets by foreign trawlers last year; whether he is aware that the method of marking the nets by lights or otherwise has been found ineffective: whether a cruiser might be specially allotted to the Moray Firth for the next two months; and what progress has been made with the proposal to bring the whole question of trawling in the North Sea to the notice of the League of Nations?


As in previous years the foreign Governments concerned have been asked to co-operate by issuing warnings to their trawlers as to the presence of cod-nets in the Moray Firth, but the value of such co-operation depends largely on whether the fishermen stand by their nets and mark and light them in accordance with the regulations. The reply to the second part of the question is in the negative. The method has never been given a satisfactory trial by the fishermen. Experiments in the lighting of gear have recently been carried out by the Fishery Board for Scotland with satisfactory results, which have been communicated to the fishermen. Arrangements have already been made whereby a special patrol of the cod-net fishing grounds will be maintained by the fishery cruisers. As regards the last part of the question, the matter is at present receiving consideration departmentally.

Major WOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has considered the plan for the utilisation of the fishermen's relief fund submitted to the Scottish Fishery Board by the Buckie Fishermen's Association; and whether he proposes to adopt it?


I am informed that the plan referred to was considered by the central committee which is responsible for the administration of the relief fund and that the committee decided not to adopt it.


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements have been made for the dredging of the Scottish fishery harbours and for the provision of an additional dredger for this purpose?


It is proposed to present a Supplementary Estimate to enable the Fishery Board for Scotland to purchase a new grab dredger in the current financial year; and to make provision in the Board's Estimate for the financial year 1930 for the maintenance of this new dredger and of the existing dredger. Applications for the services of the dredgers are under consideration.


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the new complaints of illegal trawling from Embo, Golspie, and other villages round the coast of the Moray Firth; whether he is yet in a position to state his intentions with regard to the outstanding recommendations of Lord Mackenzie's Committee: and whether he is contemplating any other steps for the suppression of illegal trawling?


No complaints of illegal trawling have reached the Fishery Board from Moray Firth villages since 10th December, when I last answered n question on this subject by the hon. and gallant Member. Three complaints of illegal seine-net fishing have been received and promptly investigated. No definite evidence was forthcoming, but the area is receiving close attention. As regards the second part of the question, the recommendations of the Committee are continuing to receive my attention, and as regards the last part every effort is being and will be made by the Board to deal with complaint of illegal trawling.