40 licenses granted by Guernsey to French ships

Demonstration by fishermen against an offshore wind farm project, in the port of Cherbourg, September 24, 2021.

The announcement comes in the midst of a standoff between Paris and London over post-Brexit fishing licenses, the French government accusing the British of granting too few. Guernsey granted, Wednesday 1er December, 40 fishing licenses for French boats, which will thus be able to continue fishing in its waters after the 1er February 2022, announced the government of the Channel Island.

By adding three other ships that will replace ships that have left the French fleet, Guernsey will grant 43 licenses for 58 applications. They will be able to fish in the 6-12 nautical mile zone off the Channel Island, as was the case before Brexit. For the fifteen remaining boats, “Any additional data will be examined”, the government of Guernsey said in a statement. The island’s foreign minister, Jonathan Le Tocq, greeted a “Milestone” of its roadmap on licensing and says its hope that it brings “Certainty and stability”.

This ad is “Excellent news”, greeted the French Minister of the Sea, Annick Girardin. “The efforts pay off and the work continues to give maximum visibility to professionals. The fight is not over: 111 licenses remain to be obtained », mostly Jersey and London, she said.

Post-Brexit litigation

The issue of fishing licenses is less problematic with Guernsey, which Paris considers a “Reliable partner” in the negotiation, than it is with London and Jersey. European fishermen can continue to work in UK waters provided they can prove that they fished there previously. But the French and the British argue over the nature and extent of the supporting documents to be provided.

Since 1er January 2021, France thus obtained around a thousand fishing licenses in British and Channel Islands waters, but Paris is still claiming around a hundred. The European Commission recently asked London to settle the post-Brexit dispute over fishing licenses with France by December 10.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Fishing licenses: the “wake-up call” of French fishermen to demand respect for the agreement

In the 6 to 12 nautical mile zone from the British coast, the proceedings are tense for 40 boats, over 12 meters long, which were recently launched to replace old ships. London refuses for the moment to issue them a license, considering that these are new requests because they relate to more modern and often more powerful ships. France wants to see the situation of some thirty ships, considered as “High priority” since they make a large part of their catches in these British waters to which they no longer have access.

The World with AFP


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