Fishermen’s leader praises the negotiating style with French

LICENCES being granted to French fishermen demonstrate that Guernsey has handled the ongoing issue in the right way, said Guernsey Fishermen’s Association president Barry Paint.

Guernsey Fishermen's Association president Barry Paint. (30268600)
Guernsey Fishermen's Association president Barry Paint. (30268600)

The States has announced that it has now granted 40 out of 58 applications made by French fishermen, with three more due to be accepted.

Despite the dispute, Mr Paint said there was no personal conflict between French and British individuals in the trade.

‘Where the bigger boats land in France, that’s where the problem would be, but there doesn’t appear to be.

‘The way Jonathan Le Tocq has managed things, and how he’s managed to get through to the French in a friendly way – we haven’t been aggressive at all – that’s what we have done correctly,’ he said.

Policy & Resources external relations lead Deputy Le Tocq has been the centre point of discussions with the French, and said earlier this week he hoped the announcement provided certainty and stability.

‘There’s always going to be a bit of repartee or rudeness between us,' Mr Paint added.

‘I’ve worked well with them in the past but obviously under different circumstances. I haven’t spoken to them in a while but I am looking forward to it.'

As it stands, several fishing restrictions are still in place around the island, including a ban on any EU vessel over 25m. in length or with an engine of over 300 horsepower from coming inside the island’s 12-mile limit.

Guernsey vessels have been excluded from entering the Dielette port in France since the UK exited the European Union in early 2020.

The EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius, spoke yesterday with George Eustice, the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

‘Our continuous efforts with flag of United Kingdom have paid off,’ he said after the meeting.

‘Forty-three vessels now have the certainty of continuing their fishing activities in Guernsey waters and 40 of them were licensed today. Intensified talks continue in good spirit. We touch base in a week.’

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