French fisherman warns of 'never-ending war' with Jersey waters
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French fisherman Simon Valentin insisted the future was looking bleaker for French fishermen. While speaking to France24 he explained what action French fishermen will take if they are barred from fishing in Jersey waters. Despite a Brexit trade deal solidifying an agreement between the UK and France, Jersey operates separately from the UK.
The Brexit deal ultimately nullified France’s immediate access to their waters, although Jersey did agree to a temporary licence to French boats.
This is due to run out at the end of April and has caused frustration and anxiousness in the region.
Mr Valentin said: “My great grandfather was a fisherman, my father is a fisherman, my brother is a fisherman and a cutter and my uncle was as well for a time.
“We are a family of fisherman, for the younger generation who will take over it is going to be very difficult.
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“We won’t let them push us around, we can’t afford to or we won’t be able to make a living.”
Mr Valentin argued French fishermen are prepared to fight back against restriction imposed on them over fishing.
He continued: “If they stop us working in their waters we will stop them from landing on our ports.
“So it will then become a never-ending war.
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“Since 70 percent of their fish is unloaded in France, they won’t be able to earn a living either.
“In the end, it is up to Brussels and them, they will work it out.”
Another fisherman Captain Gregory Delalonde explained the confusion felt by French fishermen and their growing concern for their livelihoods.
He said: “We only found out at the last minute, through December we didn’t know what was going to happen.
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“They only told us in January that there was going to be provisional licences for some boats.
“60 percent of what we fish is in their waters, we work in their waters.
“We will be left with just a strip since they want to take about all this area.”
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