World French fishermen leave Jersey port after protest
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A protest over post-Brexit rights by French fishermen at Jersey's main port has ended, following talks that aimed to resolve the row.
About 60 boats protested at St Helier port and two Royal Navy ships and two French vessels were sent to the area.
French fishermen say their rights are unfairly restricted by licences issued under the Channel Island's new system.
Jersey's External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said discussions were "positive".
No 10 said the PM has been in contact with Jersey officials over the row and confirmed that the two Royal Navy vessels would "remain in place to monitor the situation as a precautionary measure".
Fishing. The contacts resume with Jersey to get out of the crisis with the Normans and the Bretons
© Archives West-France The French fishermen intend to put pressure on the government of Jersey. Photo Stock Illustration. Several appointments took place on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 with the Government of Jersey to try to unlock the situation of the fishermen of Normandy and Brittany. The threats of retaliation from France could influence the position of the Jersey government? The island unveiled Friday, April 30 a first list of French fishing boats allowed in its waters .
HMS Severn, which has previously been used to shadow Russian navy warships off the English coast, can be seen from the port, sitting off about a mile from where the French boats were protesting. HMS Tamar is nearby and both ships are maintaining a presence and did not intervene in the protest.
The maritime prefecture of Manche and mer du Nord told the BBC the two French patrol vessels were on a public service mission to ensure safety.
France has threatened to cut off electricity to Jersey, the largest Channel Island and a Crown dependency, located 14 miles (22km) off France. Crown dependencies are not part of the UK, but are defended and represented internationally by the UK government.
The boats were protesting against new fishing rules - introduced last week by the Jersey government under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) - which require French boats to show they have a history of fishing in Jersey's waters. But it has been claimed additional requirements were added without notice.
'Misunderstanding' in fishing row led to threat
The Government of Jersey says it acted in "good faith" over a post-Brexit fishing licensing regime.External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said he wanted to "heal this relationship" with French authorities.
French authorities say "new technical measures" had not been communicated to the EU, rendering them "null and void".
"We agreed that all sides remain committed to engaging with our partners in the EU and France to resolve the concerns arising from the issuing of fishing licenses under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which led to today's protest," Jersey's Senator Gorst said.
Earlier, Jersey fisherman Loic Farnham said of his French counterparts: "They are professional fishermen, the same as we all are, we'd like to keep it all amicable so we can have access to the markets and they can carry on earning a living in our waters."
The maritime prefecture of Manche and mer du Nord told the BBC the two French vessels, police boat Athos and patroller Themis, were not on military missions.
It said the boats' roles were to stay in French waters and to be near the fisherman in order to ensure safety.
French fishing fleet heads for Jersey as Royal Navy ship arrives on station
A fleet of French fishing boats are heading for Jersey after threatening to blockade the island's main port over a post-Brexit fishing row. The UK has sent two Royal Navy ships to Jersey "as a precaution". HMS Severn is already on station there with HMS Tamar due to arrive later today.Read the latest news and updates on India's Covid emergency.Downing Street confirmed Boris Johnson spoke to Chief Minister of Jersey Senator John Le Fondre on Wednesday evening "about the prospect of a blockade of Saint Helier" - the island's main town.
What is the Jersey fishing row about?
French fishermen have complained about being prevented from operating in British waters because of difficulties in obtaining licences.
Under an agreement with the EU, French boat operators must show a history of fishing in the area to receive a licence for Jersey's waters. But it has been claimed additional requirements were added without notice.
Jersey Fishing. France deploys two military vessels, strong tensions with the United Kingdom
© Marc Le Cornu via Reuters French boats in Jersey, May 6, 2021. France deploys two French ships near Jersey, while tensions with The United Kingdom on fishing is intensifying. Two British military ships are also on site. Two French patrolling were deployed Thursday near Jersey 's Anglo-Norman Island where more than 50 French fishing boats have gathered to protest against fishing conditions imposed after the Brexit , have Indicated to the AFP the maritime authorities.
Jersey has the sole power to issue the licences, and as of last week all fishing boats were required to have a licence to operate there.
On Friday, the Jersey government granted 41 permits to French fishing vessels that are equipped with technology that allows them to be located.
But the French government claimed the list of approved ships came with further demands that "were not arranged or discussed, and which we were not notified about".
Chris Le Masurier, who runs Jersey Oyster and Normandy Trader Freight, said the French fisherman were rightly upset by the situation.
The Franco-British fish feud: How it started
A Franco-British feud over access to prime fishing waters escalated on Thursday as the two countries deployed patrol and navy ships near the Channel island of Jersey. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded by deploying two royal navy gunboats to the area and France followed suit with two of its own coastal patrol vessels. The French trawlers headed home later in the afternoon.Jersey fishermen have their own gripe.
He said: "I see it as very much an insult to them and they are extremely upset. The criteria that they were given was to prove they have fished in Jersey waters for 10 days. Nothing about what species were caught, nothing about if you've fished for 20 days or 30 days [and having to] prove that."
But Don Thompson, from the Jersey Fisherman's Association, said affected French crews have "had since 1 January" to comply with the new rules and "perhaps some of the boats that perhaps didn't qualify are a little bit put-out".
The- 95% of which is delivered by three underwater cables from France - was made by French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin on Tuesday.
HMS Severn and HMS Tamar are based in Portsmouth. They are both 90.5m in length, have two large guns, including a short-range anti-aircraft weapon, and are crewed by 45 sailors and up to 50 Royal Marines.
The ships are routinely used for fisheries protection - with sailors able to board other boats for spot checks.
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The vaquita marina in Mexico is threatened by a clash of interests between fishing and conservation. Scientists estimate there may be fewer than a dozen left in the wild. © Greenpeace/Marcelo Otero An illustration of the vaquita, the world's most critically endangered sea mammal Jacques Cousteau, the marine explorer, called the Sea of Cortéz, also known as the Gulf of California, "the world's aquarium". One of its treasures is a silvery-coloured porpoise with wide, panda eyes. But the vaquita's days may be numbered because of illegal fishing for another protected species: totoaba.