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Saturday, August 13, 2022

The fishing dispute between Great Britain and France. Licenses granted

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The conflict over the right of French fishermen to catch fish in UK waters has been eased slightly. European fishermen can fish in British waters if they worked there before Brexit. The French and the British, however, argue over the documents that are supposed to prove it.

Britain and France have long argued over fishing rights in British waters after Brexit. France believes its fishermen should get more fishing licenses, the UK replies that almost all EU fishermen who applied got a license, not only those who could not demonstrate a history of fishing in the waters concerned.

France and Great Britain – a dispute over fishing

Recently, the island of Guernesey granted 43 licenses (permits) for French cutters, slightly less than what the French want.

Vessels with the permit will be allowed to fish in the 6 to 12 nautical mile zone around Guernesey. Regarding another 15 cutters, the British Foreign Office said on Wednesday that “all new circumstances will be considered”.

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A more serious dispute is between London and Jersey – there are 111 permits. Paris says it will “fight for them”.


French Sea Minister Annick Girardin described this as “good news” but said French fishermen must obtain 111 remaining permits from the UK. From 1 January this year. France has obtained licenses for around 1,000 ships.

Brexit. Change of regulations

When Great Britain left the European Union on January 31, 2020, it also withdrew from the London Fisheries Convention of 1964. Transitional arrangements apply until January 31, 2022. The provisional arrangements have been in place since then and “all vessels mentioned in the provisional permit will continue to be able to fish under the current provisional arrangements until their expiry, ie on 31 January 2022.” – informed the Member States.

The problems of fishermen, in addition to the issue of immigrants reaching Great Britain via the English Channel, have for weeks exacerbated relations between Paris and London.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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