Franco-British conflict over fishing: two British trawlers fined in the Bay of Seine

After the threats, concrete action. Two English fishing vessels were fined by the French maritime gendarmerie during checks on Wednesday October 28 in the Bay of Seine, and one of them was diverted to the port of Le Havre, announced Annick Girardin, the Minister of the Sea. on Twitter.

These controls, customary “during the scallop fishing season”, are also “part of the tightening of controls in the Channel, in the context of discussions on licenses with the United Kingdom and the Commission. European ”, specifies the ministry in its press release.

One of the two English vessels checked Wednesday, in action of fishing, “did not appear on the lists of licenses granted to the United Kingdom” by the European Commission and France, and was diverted to the port of Le Havre by a patroller of the maritime gendarmerie. Such a procedure “can lead to the confiscation of the fishery product” and the immobilization of the boat against the payment of a deposit, the ministry said. The captain of the fishing vessel risks criminal penalties.

The other boat, which had not complied at first with the request to board by the maritime gendarmes, was fined for “obstructing control”. This did not reveal any other violation of fishing regulations, the ministry said.

” Systematic monitoring “

These two checks come the day after a government announcement clarifying the nature of the retaliatory measures against the United Kingdom in the context of the post-Brexit fishing dispute. A first series of national measures which will apply from the beginning of November targets British trawlers. One of them orders the maritime gendarmerie to carry out “systematic safety checks on British ships”.

“A second series of measures is being prepared. France does not rule out, in this context, reviewing the energy supply provided to the United Kingdom, ”said the Ministry of the Sea in its press release. The Channel Islands depend in particular on France for their electricity supply.

The conflict had taken a turn at the end of September when the British island of Jersey, near the French coast, announced the granting of 64 definitive licenses to French boats (against 169 requested by Paris) and the rejection of 75 applications. The day before, London had granted only 12 additional authorizations in its waters, within the limit of 6 to 12 nautical miles from its coasts (against 87 requested).

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