finance

Scottish Fishermen's Federation leader urges calm in scallops row with France



A Scottish fishing leader will urge France and Britain that it is a time for calm, rational discussion and peaceful resolution, not conflict at sea next week.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “As control over access and fisheries resource changes in the next few years, it will be imperative that the rules are agreed, accepted and, where necessary, enforced.”

Fishing industry officials from France and Britain will try to strike a new deal on dredging for scallops next week following violent skirmishes in the Channel.

Last Tuesday, French vessels rammed British trawlers off the coast of Normandy, hurling projectiles and insults in a dispute which erupted after a previous agreement broke down.

French fishermen accuse the British of unfairly catching scallops in the Baie de Seine in the summer months when French boats are banned from doing so under rules imposed by the Paris government to conserve stocks of the shellfish.

The industry representatives from France and the UK will meet in London on Wednesday and French government officials would also attend, said Dimitri Rogoff.

Scallops – known as Coquilles Saint Jacques in France – are one of a handful of species whose catch is governed by national rather than European Union regulations.

While British ships have no access to French territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles (22 km) off the coast, they can legally operate in the expansive Baie de Seine between Cherbourg and Le Havre.

France bans its fishermen from scallop dredging between May 15 and Oct. 1, but Britain allows its vessels to operate year-round.

French and British fishing organisations negotiated an agreement each summer under which the UK fleets do not start scallop dredging in the Baie de Seine before the French, in exchange for part of the French fishermen’s dredging permits. But small British vessels were excluded from that agreement.

The French say the British have undermined the spirit of the deal by sending more and more small vessels. In protest, the French have not signed any agreement this year.

British fisherman face losing access to EU waters after next year’s Brexit unless a deal is made.



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more