§ 86. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that the practice, referred to in his letter of 22nd June to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North, of the seizing by Her Majesty's fisheries cruisers under his Department of the fishing gear of fishing vessels suspected but not convicted of offences, inflicts unnecessary loss and damage to the owners and officers of such fishing vessels; and if he will take immediate steps to have this practice discontinued.
§ Mr. Maclay
While I appreciate the concern felt by the hon. and learned Member, I am assured that there have been very few cases in which seizure of fishing gear has not been followed by a conviction. In such cases it is provided in the Sea Fisheries Compensation (Scotland) Act, 1959, that compensation may be paid if loss or damage is occasioned to the gear.