The United Kingdom imposes technical requirements for the access of French fishermen to the waters of the Channel Islands that Paris considers not provided for in the trade agreement. Some fishermen are calling for the blockades of Jersey.
“It is considered that if new requirements for sea zoning or fishing gear are incorporated into the licenses, even though they have not been notified to the European Commission, they are null and void,” said the Ministry of the Sea this May 4 to AFP.
The agency’s interlocutor recalled Paris’ commitment to “strict compliance with the fisheries agreement negotiated within the framework of Brexit and added:” If the United Kingdom wants to introduce new provisions, it must notify them to the European Commission which notifies us, which allows us to engage in a dialogue afterwards. At this stage, we discovered these new technical measures which are not applicable as they are to our fishermen. “
For Jersey waters, the United Kingdom published on April 30 a list of 41 vessels equipped with a “Vessel Monitoring System” (VMS, a device that records the positions of vessels) and authorized to fish since May 1. This list is accompanied by new requirements “which have not been concerted, discussed or notified before”, according to the source at the ministry quoted by AFP.
They mainly consist of new fishing zonings within Jersey waters where inland vessels may or may not go. They also specify, according to the ministry’s indications, the number of days that fishermen can spend at sea, and with what gear.
The Ministry of the Sea says it has informed the European Commission of these new measures which, according to it, were not planned. “It is the Commission which is negotiating, so now we are waiting for it to initiate a discussion with the United Kingdom to fully understand what this means and then give us its clarifications”, added the same source. .
Sixty fishermen denounce an “attack” by the Jersey authorities
About 60 fishermen gathered in reaction to these announcements in the morning of May 3 in Cherbourg in front of the maritime affairs without incident, before a new demonstration which, according to the police, brought together about sixty fishermen in Granville.
It is obvious that there are going to be answers to the aggression of which we are victims by the authorities in Jersey […] It is hoped that the state will take retaliatory measures
“It is obvious that there are going to be responses to the aggression to which we are the victims by the Jersey authorities in relation to fishing authorizations. We hope that the state will take retaliatory measures, ”said Dimitri Rogoff, president of the Normandy regional fisheries committee, contacted by phone by AFP.
“That the Jersey fishermen can no longer land at Granville has long been a given, since the licenses arrived in dribs and with the restrictions, it is obvious that there is no longer any question of them. come to land in Granville, ”he added.
The regional fisheries committees of Brittany and Normandy have called for “a suspension of all economic relations with Jersey, including the ferry link between Jersey and the Continent”, in a joint statement sent to AFP.