Guernsey looks for fair fishing deal with French

TALKS are continuing about a new regime to license French fishing in Bailiwick waters.

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet took this picture of the Channel Islands and the Cherbourg from the International Space Station.
French astronaut Thomas Pesquet took this picture of the Channel Islands and the Cherbourg from the International Space Station.

It will come into force on 1 April.

Interim authorisations are in place until then.

‘The new UK-EU Trade Agreement, the TCA, marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Bailiwick’s relationship with the EU, specifically with France and in the historic connection with Normandy,’ said Policy & Resources president Peter Ferbrache.

‘Guernsey is committed to implementing the agreement in a fair way to ensure there is a stable and predictable relationship for trade and fisheries with the EU, and through that Normandy.’

He was speaking after a video conference call with the President of the Regional Council of Normandy, Hervé Morin, and the President of the Departmental Council of La Manche, Marc Lefèvre.

The Bailiwick will put in place a licensing regime, which will be based initially on the extent and nature of fishing activity that it can be demonstrated was carried out during a track record period.

The terms of the TCA mean that the number of French vessels that are licensed to fish in Bailiwick waters will remain static over time.

‘The approach to dealing with vessels exiting the fleet and being replaced by new vessels is being considered and will be confirmed in due course.’

French vessels will be able to apply for a licence to fish in the six to 12nm area to the west of the Bailiwick, where they previously had access under the London Fisheries Convention.

Since the start of the year Bailiwick fishermen have been unable to land catches in Dielette.

Cherbourg, Carteret and Granville are already designated ports for direct landings, although only Cherbourg has been used – twice – so far.

‘Both sides agreed that it was to the Bailiwick and Normandy’s mutual benefit to seek that the French Government designate Dielette so that landings can resume as soon as possible,’ a P&R spokesman said.

Deputy Ferbrache said he also took the opportunity during the call to ensure that the strategic importance of the direct cable connection with France was understood.

‘This will need further discussion when the TCA fisheries licensing regime has been fully implemented. It was clear from the discussion that we have made a good start to this new relationship.’

Mr Morin said: ‘It is always a pleasure to be able to work closely with our friends and partners in the Channel Islands.

‘The Normandy Regional Council wishes to reaffirm its commitment to maintaining and strengthening the ties between us, for the mutual benefit of everyone.’

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