The National Committee for Maritime Fisheries and Marine Breeding (CNPMEM), as well as the Regional Committees (CRPMEM) of Brittany, Normandy and Hauts-de- France held an exceptional press conference yesterday on the issue of the granting of fishing licenses by London and Jersey.
Faced with the blocking of negotiations by the British side, they announced a series of actions at sea, which will take place today, Friday, November 26.
Despite months of negotiations, London and Jersey indeed refuse to issue the fishing licenses legitimately expected by French professionals, under the trade and cooperation agreement concluded between the United Kingdom and the European Union on December 24. 2020. The situation has become untenable for our fishermen, whom the current uncertainty places in a very fragile position.
In a press release, CNPMEM says, “From the start, the professionals (fishermen) have nevertheless played the game: they have responded to all requests for information and accepted, for the sake of appeasement, the maintenance of discussions at a technical level, the return to the negotiating table, and the absence of retaliatory measures. It is clear that the results do not match their patience and goodwill.”
As it stands:
– For the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): 738 licenses requested and obtained
– For the 6-12 mile zone: 175 licenses requested and 104 obtained, 71 pending
– For Guernsey: 64 licenses pending
– For Jersey: 218 licenses requested, 116 obtained, 102 pending
The CNPMEM continue, “French fishermen will therefore mobilize on Friday 26 November in order to defend their just and legitimate demands and to prevent British obstruction from affecting other negotiations to come, such as the definition of the methodology for replacement vessels, quota levels on stocks shared with the United Kingdom and the technical measures which will define the conditions under which the activity of European vessels can be carried out in these waters.
This mobilization will take the form of blocking actions mainly in the waters of the ports of Saint-Malo, Calais, and Ouistreham.
– Saint-Malo: from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
– Calais: at the port from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Channel Tunnel from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
– Ouistreham: from 2:00 p.m.
“The mobilization is symbolic and non-violent,” says the CNPMEM. “And all measures have been taken to ensure the smooth running of the movement. If the demands of the fishermen were to go unheeded, then consideration would be given to transforming this “warning shot” into other types of action.
“The CNPMEM and the CRPMEMs of Brittany, Hauts-de-France and Normandy stand alongside the mobilized professionals, to whom they provide their full support. We once again call on the “European Commission and the French government to unite behind their fishermen and to redouble their efforts to find a solution. It is about respecting the word given and the credibility of Europe.”
This morning fishermen in Saint-Malmo took to the harbour to protest of the loss of fishing rights caused by Brexit. Fishing vessels blocked a British cargo vessel from docking in the Brittany port as fishermen held aloft red flares as the circled the Normandy Trader on an act of frustration over the UK licence dispute.