Thursday, 28 October 2021


This is how the story is being reported in French news sites (Google translation):Brexit. 

British trawler fined 75,000 euros Suspected of having caught more than two tonnes of scallops without a license, a British fisherman baffled in Le Havre risks a hefty fine. He denounces a political maneuver while France and the United Kingdom are at daggers drawn on post-Brexit fishing regulations.


This photo taken in the port of Le Havre in northern France on October 28, 2021 shows the trawler 'Cornelis-Gert Jan' held by French authorities.

The captain of a baffled British trawler in Le Havre , suspected of having fished more than two tonnes of scallops without a license, risks a fine of € 75,000 and administrative sanctions, the prosecutor's office announced Thursday (October 28th).

Read also: 
France will ban British fishing boats from disembarking from November 2

"It's politically motivated" The vessel is accused of "having fished 2,160 kg of scallops in the French exclusive economic zone without holding a valid license for the area concerned," Cyrille Fournier, deputy prosecutor of Le Havre , told AFP. .

This is an “unauthorized maritime fishing offense in French maritime or salt waters by a vessel outside the European Union” ; he stressed.

"The captain of the ship therefore incurs a fine of € 75,000 on a criminal level as well as administrative sanctions" , added the magistrate.

The owner of the Scottish trawler detained and confused Wednesday by the French authorities said Thursday that it was a "misunderstanding" and denounced a political manoeuvr..

"I suspect it's politically motivated, we haven't had this problem (before)," Andrew Brown, spokesperson for MacDuff Shellfish based in Mintlaw, north of Aberdeen , told AFP. . He confirmed that the trawler Cornelis, specializing in scallop fishing, had been diverted to the port of Le Havre and its captain questioned.

A tense context Two English fishing vessels were fined by the French maritime gendarmerie during checks Wednesday in the Bay of Seine.

These controls, customary "during the scallop fishing season", are also "part of the tightening of controls in the Channel, in the context of discussions on licenses with the United Kingdom and the Commission. European, ” the ministry said in a press release.

France, in conflict with the United Kingdom over post-Brexit fishing licenses, announced on Wednesday the entry into force next Tuesday of the first retaliatory measures against the Channel Islands and London if the number of licenses granted to fishermen French remains insufficient.

Below are two press releases from the French Government relating to the two UK vessels that were boarded on Wednesday while scallop fishing in the Baye de Seine. It looks as though the vessels detained could be the scalloper, Cornelis Gert Jan as she is alongside the French navy vessel, Athos in the port of le Havre.

GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE - This Wednesday, October 27, the patroller of the maritime gendarmerie Athos carried out several checks of the Seine bate fisheries. off Le Havre. 

In addition to the classic surveillance carried out during the scallop harvesting season. This operation is part of the tightening of controls in the Channel, in the context of discussions on licenses with the United Kingdom and the European Commission. Two English vessels fishing in French waters were reported. The first was removed for obstructing control. In fact, at first, he did not spontaneously comply with the request for boarding by the maritime gendarmes as provided for in the regulations. On the summons of the maritime gendarmes, he ended up undergoing control which did not reveal any other violation of the regulations on maritimes fisheries. This English fishing vessel was fined for obstructing control. The second English vessel fishing in French waters did not appear on the license Lists granted to the United Kingdom by the European Commission and France. 

The patroller of the maritime gendarmerie therefore summons the offending vessel to the port of Le Havre. Under the supervision of the liberty and detention judge, the diversion procedure may lead to the confiscation of the proceeds of the fishery as well as to the immobilisation of the vessel against the payment of a bond. This represents important economic consequences for the shipowner. The captain of the fishing vessel risks, for its part, penal sanctions, under the control of judicial self-government.



In the context of discussions between France, the European Commission and the United Kingdom to obtain fishing licenses under the trade and cooperation agreement, Annick Girardin, Minister for the Sea, and Clement Beaune, secretary State in charge of European affairs, exchanged this morning with the elected representatives of the territories concerned. The ministers recalled the actions taken vis-à-vis the European Commission and the British government in support of the requests which were presented by the fishermen from January 2021. A significant number of licenses are still missing to which French fishermen are entitled.

Since that date, intense work has been undertaken to obtain fishing licenses. Until today, the United Kingdom has not responded to our requests, and has even introduced new conditions not provided for in the trade and cooperation agreement.

Over the last few years, the Government has thus taken numerous actions to demand from the British answers on the number, dates and methodology of the issuance of these licenses.

• Several meetings with fishing professionals which made it possible to ensure the basis of our requirements;

• Different meetings with all the elected officials in the three regions concerned (Hauts-de-France, Brittany, Normandy), this morning again, the elected officials again insisted on the needadopt firm measures in all sectors. Solidarity with the last arch, they do not exclude from their rating actions concerning their bilateral cooperation;

• The adoption of a declaration with 11 other member countries reaffirming the European solidarity of the fishing states impact. and their concern over non-compliance with the agreement;

• Meetings with French MEPs, the European Commissioner in charge of Oche, Mr Sinkevicius, and the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of relations with the United Kingdom, Mr Sefcovic associating the professional representatives of the French Oche;

• Different meetings between Annick Girardin and the British authorities, Victoria Prentis, Minister for Fisheries of the United Kingdom, as well as the Jersey authorities. Despite 10 months of intense discussions, the British government still has not honored its signature, so as of November 2, the government will adopt targeted measures, including:

  • Ban on disembarkation of British Ache ships in designer ports; - Strengthening of sanitary and customs controls; - Conti, the safety systems for British ships; - Reinforcement of controls on trucks to and from the United Kingdom.

France also asks the European Commission to meet the partnership council as soon as possible, and to consider all European measures likely to restore the rights resulting from the trade and cooperation agreement, in particular the activation of corrective measures provided for in Article 506 of the Agreement. A second set of measures is being prepared. In this context, France does not rule out reviewing the energy supply supplied to the United Kingdom. No other subject of European cooperation with the United Kingdom will be able to progress without restoring confidence and fully applying the sire agreements. The State will continue to support the fishermen and the fishmonger through the recovery plan and the Brexit support plan announced by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.

The Government maintains its wish to move forward with the United Kingdom in resolving these difficulties associated with the application of the agreement and expects concrete responses within a few days, both for the Channel Islands and for the 6/12 miles.

Tanslated by Google.