French fishermen have sailed their vessels to the port of St Helier to stage a protest at the lack of full fishing licenses issued to French fishermen since Brexit, while Britain deployed two sizeable naval vessels nearby.
Data from marinetraffic.com shows around 25 French-registered vessels stationed just outside Jersey’s main port, although some eyewitnesses claim there are more.
The trawler-men are protesting the dearth of licenses granted to French fishing vessels following the Brexit agreement which saw the EU lose its jurisdiction over British waters.
In TV footage, one of the Royal Navy vessels deployed, the HMS Tamar, can be seen further out to sea. The 90-meter-long patrol boat was one of two vessels deployed to the island.
Jersey’s external relations minister, Ian Gorst, hit back at France after Paris threatened to cut power supplies to the island in response to the Channel island’s non-issuance of full fishing licenses to French fishermen. In 2019, 95% of Jersey’s electricity came from France.
Gorst said that of the 41 French vessels who were issued licenses last week, the majority had provided the historic fishing data that Jersey had requested. However, 17 had not, “and that’s where the problem is.”
French fishermen have protested frequently that they’ve struggled to obtain new licenses to fish UK waters since Brexit. In April, a group of trawler-men staged a protest at Boulogne, blockading trucks delivering UK-landed fish to France.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point news 2021.