Thursday, 30 September 2021

Jersey fishing - More French fishing licences issued


A FURTHER 64 permanent fishing licences are to be issued to French vessels to fish in Jersey's waters on top of 47 already licensed boats, the government has announced.

In addition to these, the skippers of 31 continental vessels, which have provided some of the historical fishing data required but not yet enough to be fully licensed, are to receive temporary access permits. They have until January next year to hand over the outstanding information.

A total of 75 vessels which have not met the criteria for a licence have been given 30 days to cease fishing in the Island's waters. However, in this time, the government will still consider any historical fishing data which they provide.

Under the terms of the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, which Jersey signed up to last December, any EU fishing boats wishing to fish in Jersey post-Brexit had to provide evidence to show they have operated in Jersey for at least ten days in any of the last three full years.

The deadline for handing over the evidence had been set for 30 April but was extended on two occasions – with the final deadline being 30 September.

Tensions peaked in May when a flotilla of Breton and Norman vessels travelled en masse to Jersey and stopped two cargo ships from departing.

External Relations Minister Ian Gorst, said: 'Jersey has maintained a pragmatic, reasonable and evidence-based approach throughout, extending the transitional period on a number of occasions until now, despite not being required by the TCA to do so.

'We’re now in a position to ensure those boats which have fished these waters are able to continue doing so, and therefore it is time, next month, for our transitional arrangements to come to a close.'

He added: 'We thank the UK, EU and authorities in France for their efforts to provide us with the additional data, and I’m keen to pay tribute to the tireless work of our officers to pursue the information, collate it and analyse it. We will continue to have an open door to further data and evidence of fishing activity, including for vessels which have already been considered, and we look forward to working collaboratively to resolve the remaining complex issues.'

Story courtesy of the Jersey Evening Post.