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Monofilament Nets

Volume 115: debated on Thursday 7 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has for bringing the treatment of English and Danish fishing vessels into line respecting the carriage of monofilament nets in Scottish waters and at Scottish ports.

None. The order relates to United Kingdom vessels in inshore waters around Scotland and was made to improve enforcement in salmon protection.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Grimsby fishing vessels have been searched for monofilament nets in Scottish ports in the last year; how many such nets have been found; and what action has been taken at local level.

We do not keep our records in such detailed forms and it would not be cost-effective to do so. We have in the course of routine inspections found one such net on a Grimsby vessel and my officials have duly cautioned the skipper with a view to referring the case for prosecution.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what instructions he has given to his fishery officers in respect of treatment of English fishing vessels putting into Scottish ports and carrying monofilament nets for (a) safety reasons, (b) to seek emergency medical treatment, (c) for repairs and (d) to unload and sell fish.

As I indicated when we debated the Inshore Fishing (Prohibition of Carriage of Monofilament Gill Nets) (Scotland) Order 1986, my officials are under instruction to enforce it in a sensible way and not to refer for possible prosecution vessels carrying monofilament nets in cases of emergency, such as engine malfunction or medical problems or, subject to permission, where adverse weather conditions justify coming into the specified sea area or into port. In the absence of such emergencies, referal for prosecution would result from failure to respect the ban.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many English fishing vessels have been prosecuted for carriage of monofilament nets since the prohibition on carriage of these nets came into force; and how many prosecutions are pending.

None. There is one case currently under investigation and the skipper has accordingly been cautioned.