§ Mr. WEIR
asked, having regard to the fact that since the 20th October, 1909, no less than forty-six trawlers flying foreign flags had been observed in the aggregate on 303 occasions fishing in the Moray Firth, whether any of those vessels had been detected fishing within the three-mile limit; and, if so, in how many instances prosecutions had followed, and the result?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Ure)
Five of these detections were within the three-mile limit, and two were within the exclusive fishery limits as defined by the North Sea Convention. Prosecutions were instituted in each instance, and in six cases convictions were obtained and the full penalty inflicted. In the seventh case proceedings are pending.
§ Mr. MUNRO
asked the Lord Advocate whether he was aware that trawling within the three-mile limit was persistently carried on around the Caithness coast, particularly at night and on Sundays, to the detriment of line fishing; that the waters referred to were at present quite inadequately policed; that strong views to that effect were recently expressed at a meeting of the Caithness County Council; and whether he would consider what steps could be taken to remedy the grievance complained of?
§ Mr. URE
The allegations on which my honourable Friend's question proceeds 238 have been the subject of careful inquiry by the Fishery Board, with the result that they are not satisfied that illegal trawling is persistently carried on as suggested on the Caithness coast. I am aware of the views expressed by the county council. The coast of Caithness receives quite its proportionate attention from the fishery cruisers and any specific complaints of illegal trawling will be carefully investigated.