HC Deb 20 December 1935 vol 307 c2140W

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has considered the Report of the Commissioner who was appointed to hold a local inquiry into the situation with respect to ring-net and drift-net fishing for herring in the Firth of Forth; and whether any decision has been reached as to the making of a by-law for the 1936 season?


The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As the result of his inquiry the Commissioner finds that it is not proved to be impossible for the two methods of drift-nets and ring-nets to be worked together in the Firth of Forth if sufficient caution is exercised. The complaints of alleged damage by ring-net boats to drift-nets were much less numerous in 1935 than in 1934. The by-law, framed for the purpose of prohibiting the use of the ring-net in part of the Firth of Forth during the 1935 season, did not come into operation, and the Commissioner recommends that in this respect thestatus quo should be preserved at least for a while in order to see whether matters do not improve themselves.

After consultation with the Fishery Board for Scotland I have decided to act on this recommendation. Accordingly, no similar by-law will be made for the 1936 season. I hope that by the exercise of care the results of the 1936 season with regard to damage to nets and gear will prove at least as satisfactory as those of the 1935 season.