Guernsey grants its first licences to French fishermen

A ROYAL Navy patrol boat in local waters yesterday coincided with the granting of Guernsey’s first licences for French fishermen to operate within the island’s territorial limit.

Policy & Resources external relations lead Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30262699)
Policy & Resources external relations lead Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30262699)

It was announced that the States had granted 40 licences out of 58 applications to French fishermen, with three more due to follow.

‘We value our good relationships with Normandy, Brittany and La Manche, and I hope that today’s announcement provides welcome certainty and stability in this new era of the TCA,’ said external relations lead Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq.

‘We look forward to continuing to work with our regional partners on other important projects of mutual interest, not least the survey for a possible direct electricity connection between Guernsey and France.’

French reaction was positive. Annick Girardin, its minister of the sea, said the licences secured was ‘excellent news’ and said France had made ‘good progress with Guernsey’.

Deputy Le Tocq welcomed this.

‘We stuck to our principles and tried to be transparent,’ he said.

French fishermen’s response to licences being rejected by the UK and Jersey earlier this year led to them refusing to allow Channel Island boats to land in France, and there was a protest by French boats in Jersey harbour in May.

But the i newspaper reported that Navy boats have been conducting exercises off Dorset to simulate a blockade of the Guernsey by French boats.

Guernsey Harbours said yesterday that patrol vessel HMS Severn spent some time off the island, carrying out a frigate navigation training course.

The vessel helped patrol Jersey waters earlier this year when French fisherman attempted to blockade St Helier.

Parliamentary debate Page 2

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