Angry French fishermen have protested at Saint Helier, Jersey, against new British conditions for fishing in the Channel Islands. The fishermen had advanced to the island with dozens of boats. After a few hours, they left.
Fishermen had said they would block the harbour for hours but later contradicted that. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent two Navy patrol ships to Jersey in the mounting conflict with France over fishing rights. British media report that crews may confiscate boats obstructing navigation.
The French authorities, in turn, also sent two vessels to Jersey, a gendarmerie patrol boat and a rescue boat. France previously threatened to cut electricity from France via a submarine cable to the island as a “retaliatory measure”.
According to the French minister Annick Girardin (Overseas Territories), the British have introduced new conditions for French fishermen, allowing them to be active in the area for shorter periods and remove fewer species from the water.
The UK published a list of 41 French fishing boats that have been subject to new conditions that, according to Paris, have not been “coordinated, discussed or notified” as part of the Brexit agreement. “Completely unacceptable,” Girardin said in parliament on the matter. She fears that fishermen will be banned from other British waters rich in fish if France does not take action.
The island of Jersey is located about 25 kilometres from the Normandy coast. It is not part of the United Kingdom but a British crown property.