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Salmon Poaching

Volume 171: debated on Tuesday 1 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make it his policy to revert to the position, as described in Scottish records office document AF 62/1161, that salmon poaching prosecutions should not be taken by procurators fiscal as part of their official duties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland since when, and under what statute, it has been the policy of the Scottish Office that prosecutions for salmon poaching should be instigated by procurators fiscal rather than privately.

Under the Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Acts 1862 to 1868 prosecutions were usually raised by clerks of district salmon fishery boards. Procurators fiscal were also entitled to prosecute these offences and did so in appropriate cases according to the practice in the particular district. The Salmon Act 1986 made fresh provision for the administration of salmon fisheries in Scotland and repealed the 19th century legislation. The relevant part of that Act came into effect in January 1987 since when the clerks have had no right to prosecute. Offences under the relevant salmon fisheries legislation—like nearly all other offences—are now prosecuted by procurators fiscal.