• Steam Trawling in Loch Roag, 1893

    by  • 27 February 2009 • Fishing • 1 Comment

    This report from Hansard, the official report of debates in the House of Commons, dates from December 1893 and refers to illegal steam trawling in Loch Roag and, at least nominal, interest in defending the rights of local fishermen, preferably without requiring them to take three days out to testify in Stornoway.  This is the first I’ve heard of this but we’ll try to find more detail.

    MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

    I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether proceedings have been taken against steam trawler, reported to be A 93, which was engaged during the whole of Sunday, the 19th November last, in trawling between Gallon Head and Bernera, Uig, Island of Lewis, within the three-mile limit?


    The Fishery Board inform me that their officer at Stornoway has received no information on the subject-matter of the hon. Member’s question. I can only add that if letter and number 350 can be given by the hon. Member of any trawler seen infringing the law, and the witness or witnesses can be produced, the case will at once be reported to the Procurator Fiscal, with a view to prosecution.

    MR. WEIR

    Will the Fishery Board go to the district in which the complaining fishermen live, or are the fishermen expected to give the information to the office, and lose three days’ work, as the journey is 25 miles each way?


    It is not possible to proceed without witnesses.

    MR. MACFARLANE (Argyll)

    Is it not the law that trawlers are prohibited trawling within the three-mile limit? Does the right hon. Gentleman throw upon the fishermen the obligation of practically arresting these trawlers? Is it not the duty of the Government to have a cruiser in the locality to prevent breaches of the law which private persons cannot prevent?


    The Government are considering the question of providing additional cruisers.

    MR. WEIR

    But are the fishermen to do the double journey of 25 miles, instead of a Fishery Board officer visiting them?


    That is a question of which notice should be given.

    MR. WEIR

    I wish also to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether, having regard to the fact that there is no cruiser at the disposal of the Fishery Board for Scotland to protect the fishing industry around the Island of Lewis and on the west coast of Ross-shire, steps will be taken forthwith to provide a cruiser for this purpose?


    I am not at present in a position to make any promise as regards the provision of more cruisers. The matter is under consideration in connection with the Estimates.

    © UK Parliament.  HC Deb 04 December 1893 vol 19 cc349-50.  Hansard is searchable online here.

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