Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

French fishermen working in UK waters.

Laurent's catch is brought ashore Image: 
 

French fishermen have spoken of their relief after a Brexit deal was struck  French fishermen working in UK waters before receiving official licences One captain says he has decided to keep fishing, regardless of official licensing requirements, as his livelihood depends on it.

On the quayside in Boulogne-sur-Mer, a small crowd is gathering. As they watch, a boat ties up and starts to unload its haul. In this fishing town, they know the significance of this. The tradition is that nobody goes to sea on New Year's Day, so this is the first catch of 2021 - crabs, lobsters, sea snails and some assorted other fish.

'These are Mr Johnson's crabs,' the captain says. 

A father pushes his child to the front to watch; some are taking photos.

We went out with the crew of this boat during the summer, watching as they entered British waters to access crab and lobster pots and talking to the captain, Laurent, about his views on Brexit.

Back then, he was calm, expecting a deal, but in the months that followed he became more and more worried. A few weeks ago, when we last spoke to the skipper, he was increasingly anxious that Brexit was about to see his boat banned from British waters.

Full story courtesy of Adam Parsons - Business correspondent Europe correspondent @adamparsons 

The MMO has published full documentation of all Uk and EU fishing vessels that are eligible to fish in UK waters.


The boat in story above is the 11.92m Laurent Geoffrey from Boulogne, one of 632 French vessels on the new register. A full set of documents has been published here.