UK official confident French scallops spat will not recur

Send a link to a friend  Share

[September 05, 2018]  LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is confident that France will supply more security resources to ensure that a row over scallops at sea does not happen again, Britain's junior agriculture and food minister

French and British fishing boats collide during scrap in English Channel over scallop fishing rights, August 28, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. France 3 Caen/via REUTERS

George Eustice told lawmakers on Wednesday.

British agriculture and fisheries ministry officials will meet their French counterparts in London later today to try to defuse the row after fishermen in the Baie de Seine threw rocks, projectiles and insults at each other in a row over shellfish.

French fishermen want to reach an agreement that allows "vessels from both countries to exploit this resource in a fair manner, based on mutually accepted rules and conscious of the need to preserve the resource", a statement issued by France’s agriculture ministry said.

The French fishermen accuse the British of unfairly catching scallops in the Baie de Seine during the summer, when French boats are banned from doing so because of French regulations aimed at protecting shellfish stocks.

The dispute comes as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union, with fishing and access to waters a particularly sensitive issue in key areas for the ruling minority Conservative government.

"The (French authorities) are putting additional gendarmerie and additional resources out there to ensure they have the capacity to deal with any further outbreaks," Eustice told lawmakers, adding he was confident it would not recur.

The dispute centers on the size of the boats that are allowed to fish in the Baie de Seine.

"The solution really is to get a voluntary agreement (like the one) that stood the test of time for the past five years, to get something like that back in place," Eustice said.

(This version of the story has been refiled to fix typo in second-from-last paragraph.)

(Writing by Elisabeth O'Leary; additional reporting by Richard Lough in Paris; editing by Stephen Addison)

[© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2018 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.  Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.


Back to top