French trawler crews indignant at post-Brexit restrictions on their entry to British fishing grounds sailed in a flotilla to the British Channel island of Jersey on Thursday to register their protest.
A simmering row over fishing rights has escalated this week, with a French minister suggesting French electrical energy provides to Jersey could possibly be lower, and Britain despatching two navy patrol boats to the island.
A number of the French flotilla entered the harbour on the Jersey port of St. Helier at one level throughout their protest on Thursday morning. France later deployed two patrol boats to the world.
One of many trawlers positioned itself immediately in entrance of the Commodore Goodwill, the ferry and freight vessel that connects the Channel islands to the British mainland and was at anchor within the harbour, in keeping with social media posts by Marie Carof-Gadel, a French journalist on board the trawler.
The trawler later moved away. A consultant of Jersey port stated the Commodore Goodwill’s scheduled departure was delayed, however couldn’t give additional particulars.
Hugo Lehuby, a consultant for the Normandy regional fishing committee which helped organise Thursday’s protest, stated the French flotilla wouldn’t search to impede entry to Jersey ports, or cease native fishing vessels from working.
“The target is to precise our unhappiness concerning the restrictive measures that have been imposed,” Lehuby informed Reuters by phone, including that he anticipated the flotilla to return to their residence ports by the tip of Thursday.
“This isn’t a blockade,” he stated. “It isn’t our goal to smash stuff up.”
Ship-tracking web site marinetraffic.com confirmed round 25 French-registered vessels off St. Helier on Thursday morning.
The identical web site confirmed that one of many two British naval vessels despatched to the island, HMS Tamar, was positioned roughly 6 km (4 miles) to the south-west of the flotilla.
The second vessel, HMS Severn, was round 9 km to the west. Neither of the vessels seemed to be transferring in direction of the French flotilla.
A spokeswoman for the Jersey authorities stated officers have been monitoring the state of affairs, however had no additional remark at this stage.
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 authorities stated the island had issued new fishing permits in accordance with the post-Brexit commerce phrases, which included new situations for license-holders.
That angered French trawler crews and the French authorities, who stated the brand new phrases had been imposed unilaterally and with out dialogue, and that they positioned unfair restrictions on French fishing vessels.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)