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Fishing Industry

Volume 236: debated on Tuesday 4 March 1930

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2.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the regulations with regard to marking and lighting of anchored fishing lines and nets in the extra-territorial waters off the Scottish coast?

There are at present no regulations for the marking and lighting of lines and anchored nets other than those issued by the Fishery Board for Scotland in respect of anchored cod nets, of which I am forwarding a copy for the hon. Member's information. Negotiations are proceeding between the Departments concerned and the industry with a view to the issue of regulations for the marking and lighting of lines.

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the modified regulations to which he has referred have been observed by Scottish fishermen?

As I have intimated in the last part of my answer, negotiations are proceeding between the Departments concerned and the industry, with a view to the issue of further regulations with regard to the marking of lines.

Am I to take it from the right hon. Gentleman's answer that he is not satisfied with the way in which the regulations have been carried out in the past?

The fact that we are negotiating for further regulations, I think, indicates that.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is the opinion of many fishermen that the marking of these nets actually attracts trawlers and causes damage to the lines?

1.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of foreign trawlers reported to the Scottish Fishery Board as trawling within the Moray Firth area each day during December, 1929 and January, 1930?

I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the statement:

Numbers of Foreign Trawlers reported to the Fishery Board for Scotland as having been observed trawling in the Moray Firth during December, 1929, and January, 1930.
Date observed. 1929.Number of trawlers observed on each day.
3rd December1
9th December2
12th December2
13th December1
14th December1
16th December2
17th December1
19th December2
27th December3

Date observed. 1929.Number of trawlers observed on each day.
6th January4
10th January3
14th January3
15th January3
16th January1
22nd January6
26th January6

8.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the particulars of the applications for grants and loans in connection with the fishermen's relief scheme; and when and how the applications will be dealt with?

The numbers of applications for grants from the relief fund and for loans from the loan fund at yesterday's date were 1,806 and 278, respectively, the amounts involved being £67,753 and £21,520. Applications for grants will be considered in the first instance by local committees, and the allocation of the fund will be made by the Central Committee after all the local committees have reported. The loan scheme will be administered by the Fishery Board, who will deal with applications as soon as possible after the distribution of the relief fund which I am doing my best to expedite.

Are we to understand that, in fact, there has been no distribution at all to these distressed fishermen of the funds collected for them?

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that there has been ample time in which to allow these men to lodge their applications?

With regard to the first supplementary question, if the hon. Member for Perth (Mr. Skelton) keeps in mind the fact that the local committees have to make inquiries locally, and then report to the Central Committee, he will understand that a certain amount of time must necessarily elapse before any distribution can be made.

With regard to the appointment of local committees that is a matter which has been arranged for by the Central Committee in each particular district. They are the people who arrange for the distribution.

Has the time for lodging applications passed, keeping in mind the number of fishermen who have not yet returned from the West Coast fishing?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of these fishermen have only just come back and are scattered over the Western Isles; and has he taken that fact into consideration in determining the time within which applications can be lodged?

Evidently, it is very difficult to satisfy all hon. Members on this matter. The hon. Member for Perth (Mr. Skelton) has been asking me why no money has yet been distributed, and the hon. and learned Member for South Aberdeen (Sir F. Thomson) and the hon. and gallant Member for Banff (Major Wood) appear to want some more time to elapse before any money can be distributed.