French Flotilla Stages Protest off Jersey In Fishing Row

French Flotilla Stages Protest off Jersey In Fishing Row


St Helier, Jersey, United Kingdom: (World View Media, Reuters)

French trawler crews angry at post-Brexit restrictions on their access to British fishing grounds sailed on Thursday (May 6) in a flotilla to the British Channel island of Jersey to register their protest.

A simmering row over fishing rights has escalated this week, with a French minister suggesting French electricity supplies to Jersey could be cut, and Britain despatching two navy patrol boats to the island.

A representative for the Normandy regional fishing committee, which helped organize Thursday’s protest, said the French flotilla would not seek to impede access to Jersey ports, or stop local fishing vessels from operating.

A website that tracks marine traffic showed around 25 French-registered vessels off the Jersey port of St Helier on Thursday morning. Video filmed from St Helier, Jersey’s capital, showed the flotilla arriving in port.

The island of Jersey sits 14 miles (23 km) off the northern French coast and 85 miles (140 km) south of Britain’s shores.

Jersey’s government said the island had issued new fishing permits in accordance with the post-Brexit trade terms, which included new conditions for license-holders.

That angered French trawler crews and the French government, who said the new terms had been imposed unilaterally and without discussion, and that they placed unfair restrictions on French fishing vessels.

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