Scallop wars: British and French fail to reach agreement during Paris talks – UK



British and French fishermen have failed to reach a deal to end the scallop wars in the English Channel.

Talks broke down in Paris on Friday, with industry bosses unsuccessful in an attempt to agree a compensation package that would address recent skirmishes.

Tensions rose last week when five British vessels sparred with dozens of French boats in the Seine Bay – with footage showing fishermen from both sides ramming each other.

preview image


French v Brit Channel clashes

On Wednesday, smaller British vessels had pledged not to fish in the area from 15 May to 1 October. Under laws set in Paris, French fishermen are banned from taking scallops during this period in order to conserve stocks.

However, this agreement was on the basis that UK fishermen would not lose out financially – and the price appears to have been too high for the French during the latest talks.

British ships are legally allowed to forage in the disputed territory all year round – but an industry accord prevents UK vessels larger than 15m (50ft) from doing so.

The environment secretary will seek answers from his French counterparts over the scenes off the coast of Normandy.


Lewis Pugh and Michael Gove slam French fishermen’s actions

Further talks could now be held next week, according to a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) spokeswoman.

She said: “We are making progress… discussions are continuing and we are looking at next steps.”

During a confrontation at the end of last month, rocks and smoke bombs were reportedly thrown at British mariners.

Further talks could be held to resolve the dispute next week. File pic
An industry accord allows small UK boats to continue fishing when the French cannot

The clashes occurred about 12 nautical miles from the Normandy coastline, and were the most serious in years of wrangling over the area’s prized scallops.

French fishermen have been incensed that the British boats were able to access the highly productive waters while their own government was prohibiting them from doing so.

It is not yet known whether small UK vessels will hold out for an agreement before beginning to fish in the waters again.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.