By Clotire Achi and Pascal Rosignol
BOULOGNES-SUR-MER, April 22 (Reuters) – French tracker, fueled by slow issuance of fishing license in British waters after Brexit, carrying fish from Britain on his arrival in Boune-sur-Mer on Thursday Trucks stopped, the largest European seafood processing center.
Britain’s post-Brexit deal with the European Union allows fishermen to catch deep fish in the UK’s water sector, but only after obtaining a permit.
Permits were to be issued early, but about 80% of the French fleet in Hauts-de-France is still waiting, French fishermen said.
“We thought it would be a matter of a few days. Four months later, we have barely moved forward,” said Bruno Margol, who is the chief fisherman’s cooperative head in Bologne-sur-Mer.
Some 80 fishermen lit the Bologne mines, stopped two trucks with wooden pallets and barrels, and made a sign that read: “Do you want to keep your water? ??? Okay .. So, keep yours fish! !! “.
Many of the fishermen struggling to obtain a license were unable to meet the UK’s demand for electronic data, showing that they had been fishing in UK waters in five years, on a membership of Great Britain in 2016. Is leading to a referendum. For Brittany EU, said Bruno Madel.
The UK has maintained an evidence-based approach to licensing EU vessels using information provided by the European Commission, the UK Department of Environment, Food and Lands. Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
“(We) consider this response inappropriate,” a DEFRA spokesman said. The spokesman said that the British government had expressed concern about the opposition of the French authorities.
On Thursday evening, the French government urged the European Commission to take Britain to “firm and resolute action” to implement the deal.
“We will act in the spirit of European solidarity and cooperation with Great Britain, but the urgency of the situation forces all of us to pursue our efforts,” said Clement Buené, Minister of State for European Affairs and Minister de la Mer Enique Girardin Said press release.
About two-thirds of the fish in Britain is exported to the mainland. In the first weeks of the year, Britain’s exit from the EU’s orbit resulted in chaotic disintegration of supply chains.
Fishermen in northern France say their livelihoods depend on access to British waters, where they fish for mackerel, whiting, squid and other species.
Bruno Margolle said that French fish stocks could be depleted if French fishermen could not reach British waters. Some fishermen have attached their boats to the port, he said.
“It is not worth going to sea to lose money,” he said.
(Cloeteire Achi in Bologne-sur-Mer, Richard Lough and Michele Rose in Paris; French version Camille Rayna)