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Legislative Control of British Fisheries

    Naturevolume 134page692 (1934) | Download Citation



    IN its report on the herring industry, the Sea-Fish Commission made far-reaching and drastic proposals for the re-organisation of the industry to meet the altered conditions of marketing, and thus to prevent a ruinous decline. The main recommendation was that a Herring Board should be appointed with very wide powers of control over the whole industry. The members of this Board should be nominated by the appropriate Ministers, and should number not more than eight, of which three, including the chairman, should be independent of the trade. Before asking the Government or the Treasury to consider any of the Commission's proposals, however, the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Minister of Agriculture and- Fisheries desired to ascertain the views of the fishermen and of the other interests concerned. Accordingly, they arranged to meet a representative conference of all branches of the industry, and this meeting took place at the Scottish Office on October 25. It is learned that, Subject to certain reservations made on behalf of Clyde fishermen and exporting interests, the recommendations of the Commission met with the unanimous approval of the industry. If (as now seems likely) the Government decides to go forward with the Commission's proposals, the subjection of the British fisheries to legislative control will be complete. With local by-laws controlling fishing within territorial waters, orders-in-council governing the trawl fisheries of the high seas and th& Herring Board directing the herring fisheries, ad ministrative machinery will have superseded indi vidual freedom in fishing and marketing. This greatest of all experiments in the modern history of British fishing is all the more remarkable because it has the general approval of the industry itself. It will surely command the closest attention and interest of economists and biologists alike.

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