MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, October 17th 2018 - 09:51 UTC

Scallop war over: French and UK fishermen reach an agreement

Tuesday, September 18th 2018 - 08:30 UTC
Full article
The French had hoped to end a loophole that exempts British boats smaller than 15 meters long, giving them first dibs at the main scallop sources off the French coast  The French had hoped to end a loophole that exempts British boats smaller than 15 meters long, giving them first dibs at the main scallop sources off the French coast
French fishermen have been incensed that British scallop boats can access the area, while French boats are only allowed to fish there between October to May French fishermen have been incensed that British scallop boats can access the area, while French boats are only allowed to fish there between October to May

French and British fishermen agreed Monday to end their battle over access to scallop-rich waters in the English Channel, three weeks after the long-simmering conflict flared into a high-seas confrontation. The new deal is hoped to bring to a close the years-long “Scallop Wars” over fishing the prized mollusks in the fertile waters off the Baie de Seine area of Normandy in northwest France.

Tensions boiled over late last month when dozens of French boats confronted a handful of British rivals in the waters to keep them from the area, with a few vessels ramming others as angry French fishermen threw stones and smoke-bombs.

”We managed to get an agreement. Tonight at midnight, they (the British fishermen) will leave the area in the Channel's east and will only return on Nov 1,“ French industry representative Pascal Coquet said.

French fishermen have been incensed that British scallop boats can access the area, while French boats are only allowed to fish there between October to May in order to protect stocks.

The French side had hoped to end a loophole that exempts British boats smaller than 15 meters long, giving them first dibs at one of the main scallop sources off the French coast before the official season.
However, it failed to get the smaller British boats banned.

”We were forced to drop the 15-meter requirement,“ Coquet said, because time was running out as British boats were ”ravaging“ the fishing stocks.

”It is in order to avoid catastrophe. They fish everything and there are other altercations,“ Coquet said, adding that he is satisfied with the compromise even it came ”a little late“.

The French side also agreed to give the British fishermen an additional fishing quota, he said.

Jim Portus, the chief executive of Britain's South Western Fish Producers Organization, agreed it was ”a compromise“. He added that ”It's not the best deal ... but it's better than no deal“.

Britain's Fisheries Minister George Eustice commended the UK fishing industry for ”its patience throughout negotiations and welcome this pragmatic outcome”.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!