Jersey fishermen clash with a French trawler caught in the island’s protected waters
Jersey fishermen clash with a French trawler caught in the island’s protected waters as the fishing war flares up again
- The Granville-based Alize 3 was seen working in the ground off the north coast
- The skipper of the boat was categorical, the French authorities gave him permission to work
- But Deputy Environment Minister Gregory Guida called the violation “serious”
- He confirmed that Jersey will file a complaint with the European Commission
A fishing war flared up again in the English Channel after fishermen from Jersey clashed with a French trawler caught in the island’s protected waters.
Anglers reported seeing the Granville-based Alize 3 on websites of marine trackers working on a bream spawning ground off the north coast yesterday.
Some tried to stop the boat, while the fishing protection vessel Norman Le Brocq was also deployed.
According to marine radio listeners, the skipper of the boat was adamant that the local French authorities had given him permission to work in the region.
Fishermen have reported seeing the Granville-based Alize 3 (pictured) on websites of marine trackers working at a bream spawning ground off the north coast
This despite the fishery officers’ claims that he was not allowed to be there and that he should stop fishing immediately.
After Officer Norman Le Brocq spoke to the ship’s captain, the Alize 3 headed for the west coast of the island.
Deputy Environment Minister Gregory Guida called the violation “serious” and confirmed that Jersey would file a complaint with the European Commission.
The vessel also reportedly passed through an area of pots worth several thousand pounds laid by Jersey fishermen. Last night it was not clear if any of them had been damaged.
Deputy Guida said: “We issued licenses to French boats earlier this month with new conditions.
“These included the nature and extent of their fishery – where they fish, how they fish and what they fish for – as well as two environmental conditions: protecting an area where bream spawns and limiting the amount of fishing gear. dredging that a boat can pull.
A graphic shows how the Alize 3 – first spotted in protected waters yesterday – moved towards the west coast of the island (pictured here at 7 a.m. this morning) after Officer Norman Le Brocq spoke to the skipper of the ship
“The EU has filed a complaint and we have agreed to suspend the conditions of nature and scope for two months until July 1.
“But the French administration then told its fishermen that the permits were null and void and that they could go where they wanted when they wanted.
“The problem is, this boat probably thought she was acting in good faith, following the rules set by her own service, but that was illegal in Jersey.”
The incident is the latest development in the fishing dispute between Jersey and France, a situation that arose in December when the island was given sole control over determining which vessels may fish in its waters.
Any French boat wishing to obtain an access permit had to provide data demonstrating that it had operated in the area for at least ten days in one of the last three years.
But, earlier this month, the captains of some Norman and Breton vessels were outraged after being granted permits that allowed them to fish 11 days a year.
One of those affected claimed that he usually worked 100 days a year in the waters of the island.
A graphic map shows the extent of Jersey’s protected waters, which appears to include the area in which the Alize 3 operated
A demonstration, in which 70 French boats stormed the port and prevented two cargo ships from leaving, ensued.
Threats were also lifted by Annick Girardin, the Minister for the Sea, who warned the country would cut off electricity to Jersey if improved fishing rights were not granted.
Asked about the ecological sensitivity of the protected area in question, MP Guida said: “It is a very small area and fishermen are prohibited from working there so that we can study bream reproduction in Jersey.
“It takes place in May and June and we needed to know how big the area was, but if it went through there and caught all the fish, we won’t have any data until next year. It is a very serious violation.
The deputy minister added that it was not clear what coercive action, if any, would be taken against the offending boat, but the matter had been discussed with ministers and a complaint would be lodged with the European Commission. .