Brexit: Jersey to license EU fishermen next week

After murmurs, commitments. The autonomous government of Jersey, an island between France and Britain, announced on Friday it would grant temporary licenses to fishing vessels from EU countries next week, amid tensions over access to its waters after Brexit.

After talks with representatives of the Normandy region in France, fishing vessels in EU countries will be issued new licenses next week, and provisional licenses to those who need more time to collect supporting documents to obtain them. required, the autonomous government indicated.

Access to the waters of Jersey and the neighboring island of Guernsey, also off the coast of France, has been a source of friction between London and Paris since Britain left the European Union for good in January.

Difficulties creating files

British authorities are in fact asking European fishermen, most of whom operate beyond French waters from Normandy and Brittany, to obtain renewal of their licenses to prove the precedence of their activity in British waters.

Small boats, which do not have satellite tracking systems, have difficulty collecting supporting documents.

The Jersey government said on Friday it would grant further licenses to eligible yachts on a temporary basis, setting a January 31 deadline for providing the necessary supporting documents.

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“We must protect our waters from overfishing”

Jersey Environment Minister John Young praised “the progress made in recent weeks”. “We need to protect our waters from overfishing, to ensure that activity is sustainable and commensurate with the level of fishing efforts before Brexit,” he said.

French Maritime Minister Anik Girardin applied to the UK for 169 final permits for access to British waters by French fishermen, just days after their provisional license expired on 30 September.

France’s Maritime Ministry has warned that if French fishermen are not granted certain licenses, France will ask the European Union to activate retaliation.

In early May, dozens of Norman and Breton fishing boats gathered in the port of Saint-Helier in Jersey to express their discontent and defend their right to fish in the waters of Jersey, prompting London to set up two patrols. sent, which were followed by French patrols. .

Jersey officials did not say how many licenses they would issue next week.

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