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Volume 78: debated on Friday 10 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about salmon poaching and other offences dàmaging the salmon industry.

A great deal of effort is devoted to the enforcement of salmon and sea fisheries legislation by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, district salmon fishery boards, water bailiffs and the police. Fishery protection vessels, fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and shore-based staff equipped with two-way radio telephones are all deployed, with considerable success, to curb the activities of those who fish illegally. In the period from 1 December 1983 to 1 December 1984 there were 321 and 38 prosecutions respectively for salmon poaching in the sea and in fresh water.My right hon. Friend proposes to complement the ban on the use of drift nets, set from a boat, to fish for salmon by prohibiting in Scottish inshore waters

(a) the use of gill nets, set otherwise than from a boat, to fish for salmon and (b) the carriage of monofilament gill nets in British fishing boats. Consultation about those prohibitions are under way in terms of the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984.

Consultations are continuing about the possibility of introducing legislation to deal with several other matters, including a scheme of salmon sales control as an anti-poaching measure.