YET again the Scottish Government is being extremely lenient towards criminals within the Scottish fishing fleet (“Anger over secret justice for skippers who break fishing laws”, The Herald, August 12).

Have Marine Scotland and other Scottish Government departments forgotten the huge amounts of money many within the fishing industry made from the black fish landings at Peterhead and Lerwick after the fines were taken into consideration? It was one of the biggest, best organised and most profitable environmental crimes ever carried out.

Have they forgotten the more recent fiasco where skippers used social media to keep each other informed of the location of fishery protection vessels?

Instead of secretly issuing pocket-money penalties to skippers who take fish illegally, I urge the Government to adopt the hard tactics needed to save fish stocks from extinction.

Confiscate the vessels of convicted skippers and convert the best boats to fishery protection vessels. The others should be stripped of pollutants, given to the military for target practise and sunk to create no-fishing zone artificial reefs to help fish recover from many decades of over-exploitation.

John F Robins, Animal Concern, Dumbarton.

Question time

DOUG Marr’s article (“The real Brexit problem? We have the wrong kind of MP,” The Herald, August 9), strikingly contrasts the broad experiences and service of politicians from years past with our current crop.

He commends the assessment process for candidates seeking entry to university medical courses, an interview and CVs which include details of experience and service provided to others – and not forgetting a prerequisite of high academic achievement at school.

There is an equally important assessment now in use for would-be doctors which is of relevance. The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a two-hour, computer-based test which assesses a range of mental abilities identified by universities as important to practising in the fields of medicine and dentistry. UCAT was developed with the goal of assessing qualities considered desirable in the health professions, including problem-solving, empathy and abstract reasoning skills. Separately-timed sections test verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative analysis, abstract reasoning and situational judgment.

Most of these would be helpful in politician selection. For further weeding out, we could factor in Mr Marr’s opportunism and cynicism detector and even add such as a bull**** score, selective memory grading and a yes/no – answering the question asked.

Dr Philip Gaskell, Drymen.

R RUSSELL Smith (Letters, August 12) poses the very reasonable question as to whether our politicians seeking high office should be subject to medical testing. Alas my response would be that no they shouldn’t be subject to such testing since, especially in relation to the current crop of MPs, the criteria suggested regarding “brass necks, forked tongues and the inability to distinguish their rump from the large hinge joint in their upper limbs” simply sets the bar too high.

John S Milligan, Kilmarnock.

My grouse

AS a farmer and lover of field sports I do not welcome the 12th of August, which is hardly glorious. It is the most unsporting of field sports. Stalking deer and walking up game with a dog are entirely “fair game” but standing in a gun pit waiting for grouse to be flushed towards you is reminiscent of a shooting gallery at a funfair and could hardly be called “sporting”. Clay pigeons might be a more suitable alternative.

Fergus Wood, Kinlochard.