PARIS — The French agriculture minister says the nation’s navy is able to intervene to forestall additional clashes between French and British fishermen whooff the French coast final week. The minister, Stephane Travert, expressed hope that British and French fishermen will strike a deal to resolve their dispute once they meet Wednesday for talks.
Talking Tuesday to broadcaster CNEWS, Travert mentioned: “We won’t proceed like this, we will not stick with it having clashes like this.”
He added that the French navy is able to intervene if needed.
About 35 French boats confronted 5 British ones, generally banging hulls, in worldwide waters off the coast of northern France final week, amid tensions over entry to scallop fisheries.
Yearly sees issues between French and British fishermen over entry to profitable scallops, she mentioned. But it surely’s normally with out the violence that was captured by a French TV crew. Their video confirmed boats banging hulls and a minimum of one firework rocket being launched.
A British commerce group, the South Western Fish Producers Group, accused French fishermen of placing lives in danger.
“The French may appear to be heroes to the French coastal communities nevertheless it’s actually terrible to place different mariners at risk,” mentioned its chief govt, Jim Portus.
He mentioned a window was smashed on one British boat and that one other suffered hearth injury from a flare.
French regulation prevents French boats from fishing for scallops through the summer season months earlier than Oct. 1, to assist protect the shares, Parrot mentioned.
However British ships can nonetheless fish for the prized delicacies in worldwide waters off the French coast. That makes French crews “really feel that the sources are being pillaged, when they’re preserving them,” Parrot mentioned.
In earlier years, the 2 sides struck offers to restrict the scope of British scallop fishing off French waters however have not managed to take action this 12 months, she mentioned. Extra talks are anticipated in mid-September.
“If we allow them to do what they need, they will ravage the world,” mentioned Anthony Quesnel, captain of “La Rose des Vents,” one of many French boats that took half within the effort to shoo away the British vessels on Tuesday.
The video confirmed smaller French craft huddled round greater British vessels and several other collisions earlier than the British ultimately retreated.
“In the long run, it is value it, as a result of they left,” Quesnel mentioned. “We gained a battle however we’ve not gained the conflict.”
An EU spokesman, Daniel Rosario, referred to as for a negotiated resolution.
“The scallop fishery is regulated on the nationwide stage and over the previous years frequent administration measures have been agreed between France, the UK and Eire,” he mentioned. “So it’s within the curiosity, at first, of the fishermen that this settlement is in place and we invite the nationwide authorities to resolve any dispute in an amicable manner as has been finished previously.”
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