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Fishermen warn of French blockades if they lose access to British waters

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Fishing industry leaders have warned their colleagues there will be French blockades of UK ports from French rivals as they will lose out on huge access to British waters.

France will lose out on access to British territorial waters as a result of the post-Brexit trade deal, as David Frost the chief UK negotiator plans for the UK to become an independent coastal state.

EU proposals for access to British fishing waters have been constantly rebuffed, and Frost has called for fishing rights to use the he principle of “zonal attachment.”

This is bases on where fish are found, rather than using historic patterns, which is used within the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

If no deal is reached with the EU over fisheries, then this could spark a huge backlash as French fishing trawlers profit from access to British waters.

For instance, the UK benefits just 9% of Cod fished in the English Channel, whilst French fishermen up take is 84%.

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation (NFFO) chief, Barrie Deas said, “Given there is a line down the middle of the Channel, you could expect zonal attachment to be something a little bit more equal.

“If there is any change to those quota shares or any other aspect that affects French fishermen, as day follows night there will be blockades – they’ve done it for much less in the past.”

Previously the French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that if no deal is triggered this will trigger civil unrest across France.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Elspeth MacDonald, who it the chief executive, said, “We’ve been clear from the outset that what we want is a new system of quota sharing based on zonal attachment, based on where fish are actually found and not on the historical practices of many years ago.

“If you look at the 12 or 13 key commercial species for the Scottish fishing industry and all of these, a quota sharing arrangement based on zonal attachment would bring a significantly higher quota share for the UK.”




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