The australian naval institute

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Fishery Problems

An area of activity which will be of partic­ular interest, because it demonstrates the folly of employing the Navy on purely national fishery duties, is that of salmon patrols. Poach­ing salmon is a time-honoured, popular and very well organised activity on many parts of the coast. Small and fast boats laying and hauling pre-positioned nets can catch vast quantities of the valuable fish

Their intelligence and communications are excellent Even the fastest naval sea boat can rarely come up on them unawares, or even catch them in an outright stern chase Evi­dence is difficult to assemble and a prosecu­tion, in the face of intense and skilful defence, almost impossible to secure. Local sympathies are very much on the side of the poachers and it has more than once happened that a naval boat chasing a poacher into harbour has been hissed, abused and even stoned The local constabularly, it should be remarked, fre­quently display a suspicious lack of enthus­iasm for the entire affair

The fact is that Navy should not be em­ployed on domestic police duties and be­comes extremely unpopular when it has to execute such duties in the long term The Navy can only work in the fishery protection role if it can be seen to be keeping foreigners well in check.

Journal ol the Australian Naval Institute Page <5

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