Finance fishing boats

French minister criticizes Jersey and considers compensation for fishing sector

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Maritime Minister has criticized Jersey for not fully cooperating on post-Brexit fishing licenses, and said France is considering compensation for fishermen affected by the situation, which has sparked diplomatic quarrels between France and Great Britain.

France and Great Britain are at loggerheads over the number of licenses granted by London to French fishing boats after the United Kingdom left the European Union. France says many are missing, while London says it is respecting the deal.

French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin said at a meeting of the French fishing industry in Finistère, Brittany on Thursday that she regretted Jersey’s “limited willingness” to cooperate with France and that compensation was being prepared.

“I can tell you that we will have a package of at least 40 million euros (45.40 million dollars) to help them in their finances, ”she said.

The dispute between France and Britain concerns the issuance of fishing licenses in territorial waters 6 to 12 nautical miles off the British coast, as well as in the seas off Jersey, a Crown dependency in the English Channel.

Tensions led France and Britain to send maritime vessels off the coast of Jersey earlier this year, while in October French authorities briefly seized a British fishing vessel that was in the waters French.

“I asked my services, in particular the national fisheries monitoring center, to strongly strengthen controls on British vessels,” Girardin added Thursday.

($ 1 = 0.8811 euro)

(Report by Laetitia Volga; Editing by Sophie Louet / Sudip Kar-Gupta)