French fishermen plan protest at Normandy end of Jersey electricity cable

FISHERMEN from Normandy and Brittany are due to stage a protest at the French end of one of the undersea cables that supplies Jersey with electricity on Saturday.

Fishermen from Normandy and Brittany protesting in Jersey in May. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (31669868)
Fishermen from Normandy and Brittany protesting in Jersey in May. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (31669868)

The demonstration is due to take place on the beach at Pirou, a few miles south of Portbail, ahead of the 30 September deadline for fishermen to submit data required to operate in Jersey waters beyond the end of this month.

Earlier this year, French Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin, threatened that France could cut off Jersey's connection with the French grid over the row on fishing rights.

French industry representatives say, with around two weeks to go until the deadline, they are at a ‘standstill’ as 169 Jersey licence applications have been submitted but only 70 licences have been issued.

They claim that some Island officials are ‘quibbling’ over figures supplied by some smaller boats under 12 metres which, because they have not been fitted with certain tracking devices, are not able to supply specific data.

A post on the Association Plein Mer Facebook page says: 'Saturday September 18 – the fishermen of the Bay of Granville are organising a day of mobilisation. Following the BREXIT agreements, London has decided that only boats equipped with a VMS (tracking system) allowing proof of fishing activity in Jersey waters could continue to fish there.

'The consequences are dramatic – around 80 French boats of less than 12 meters are thus excluded from Jersey waters. And for certain boats, this zone determines more than 90% of their turnover.'

It adds: 'The artisanal fishermen are extremely worried and feel helpless in the face of the British administration.'

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