Fishing News

French licences spell ‘death warrant’ for Jersey industry

The Jersey authorities confirmed final week that it’ll situation 64 full licences and 31 momentary licences to French vessels to fish in Jersey waters, on high of the 47 vessels already licensed to take action earlier this yr.

It has refused licences to 75 French vessels, and has given 30 days’ discover of the ending of the present transitional preparations.

Don Thompson (pictured), chairman of the Jersey Fishermen’s Affiliation, stated the choice was ‘a loss of life warrant’ for the island’s fishing trade.

He fears some fishermen in Jersey face ‘sure chapter’, and that the brand new licensing preparations will greater than double in measurement the variety of French fishing vessels coming into Jersey’s waters.

“Our figures present that now we have between 60 and 70 French fishing vessels in our waters – we’re now going to have greater than 140. We’ve been let down by our legislators, who’ve simply given in to the French calls for,” he informed ITV Information.

“Even the restricted controls they might have placed on what gear they might use or what number of days they might fish haven’t appeared, and have simply passed by the wayside.”

However the French authorities stated Jersey’s choice to refuse licences to the vast majority of French boats that had requested for one was ‘completely unacceptable and inadmissible’.

Authorities spokesperson Gabriel Attal informed reporters they have been ‘choices that contravene the settlement that was signed within the context of Brexit’.

“The French state will clearly stand by its fishermen on this dialogue,” he added.

The Jersey authorities stated that French applicant vessels fall into one among three classes:

  • Vessels which have offered the required proof below the phrases of the TCA. These 64 vessels will obtain a licence, along with the 47 current licence holders.
  • Vessels which want to offer some extra proof earlier than they are often licensed. These 31 vessels will obtain a brief licence, which is able to give them till the top of January 2022 to offer the additional info.
  • Vessels that don’t meet the factors, and have both not fished in Jersey waters in the course of the related interval, or haven’t been capable of proof their exercise. These 75 vessels are being given 30 days’ discover of the top of the transitional preparations, after which they may not be capable of entry Jersey waters.

Whereas all unlicensed boats should cease fishing in Jersey waters on the finish of October, Jersey authorities will nonetheless settle for and take into account additional information and proof as and when it’s submitted.

The licence circumstances particularly relating to ‘days at sea’ and ‘gear used’ will stay suspended to permit for additional dialogue between Jersey, the UK, the EU and France on the interpretation of ‘extent and nature’.

The French argue that it’s tough for his or her boats to offer proof of the ‘extent and nature’ of their exercise in Jersey waters as some boats would not have the required pc gear to offer the proof.

Jersey atmosphere minister Deputy John Younger stated: “By issuing these licences within the days forward, we’re making certain the fishing effort in our waters is much like pre-Brexit – these boats with an financial dependence on Jersey waters, who’ve fished right here commonly earlier than, and have demonstrated it, will obtain licences.

“We’ve been versatile within the sorts of positional proof we’ve accepted, utilizing VMS info, commercially obtainable automated identification system (AIS) information, logbooks, chart plotters and different written info.

“The difficulty of ‘substitute vessels’ remains to be to be resolved, and we’re conscious they’re essential to the trade, as boats are commonly commissioned and decommissioned. There are a small variety of these applicant vessels which require additional consideration, and they are going to be allowed to proceed working in our waters for now whereas we proceed discussions about how ‘substitute vessels’ needs to be managed.”

Exterior relations minister Senator Ian Gorst paid tribute to ‘the tireless work’ of Jersey’s officers to pursue, collate and analyse the knowledge.

“We are going to proceed to have an open door to additional information and proof of fishing exercise, together with for vessels which have already been thought-about, and we look ahead to working collaboratively to resolve the remaining advanced points.”

Tensions have been excessive in Jersey and in France all through this yr, with France banning or obstructing landings in France by Jersey vessels, and blockading St Helier in Might.

This story was taken from the most recent situation of Fishing Information. For extra up-to-date and in-depth reviews on the UK and Irish business fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing Information here or purchase the most recent single situation for simply £3.30 here.

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