Sunday, 28 Nov 2021

‘Matter of life and death’ Fishermen caught in the crossfire say row is ‘catastrophic’

Fishing: French behaving in 'appalling manner' says Gardiner

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The French fisherman, known as Jeremy Lhomel, spoke to PA media and said: “This situation with the licences, we think there’s a lot of bad faith. “This is because we are small family boats. We have three, four people on board, we don’t empty the sea, we deal with very few fish.

“For us, the situation is catastrophic because we can no longer access these waters.

“It’s vital to get these licences so that we can fish.

“It’s a matter of life or death.”

Mr Lhomel said fishermen working from the port of Boulogne who have not received licences have lost access to “half of the Strait” of Dover – the narrowest part of the Channel.

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“We can no longer fish properly,” he said angrily.

Lhomel said fishermen working from the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer have not received licences to fish the waters and have lost access to half of the Strait of Dover.

The Strait of Dover is the narrowest part of the English Channel.

Mr Lhomel added: “We can no longer fish properly.”

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The UK Government has said it is only issuing licences to fishermen that can prove they have previously fished in British waters.

However, Mr Lhomel insisted that he had given British authorities information that he had been fishing the waters in the Channel.

Although he added that small boats lacked relevant tracking systems to prove their presence in UK waters.

The fisherman said: “How can the British Government say that we never fished in British waters?”

He said that it was an act of “bad faith” on the part of the British Government.

French fishermen have been left frustrated after French president Emmanuel Macron’s decision to suspend a threat to stop British boats from landing their catches in French ports.

Before a meeting between the UK’s Brexit minister, Lord Frost, and France’s Europe minister, Clement Beaune, in Paris, Mr Macron announced he would not follow through with the threat.

French fishermen have been offered 162 licences to fish in waters off Jersey.

The French then gave an ultimatum that more licenses must be offered and the UK and Jersey had until Wednesday to resolve the issue.

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