§ 19. Mr. Russell Johnston
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to restore the prohibition of trawling with the otter board inside the 3-mile limit, which was the accepted position until the decision of Sheriff Morris Rose.
§ Mr. Younger
Legislation already exists prohibiting trawling with otter boards within the 3-mile limit. In the case referred to by the hon. Member which was heard at Dingwall sheriff court in April, the sheriff found that mid-water trawling with boards was not the method of fishing known as otter trawling. Scientific advice is that mid-water trawling with boards is no more damaging to fish stocks than other methods of mid-water fishing 233W which are permitted within the 3-mile limit. I do not propose in the circumstances to seek amending legislation.