An accord on the activities of fly-shooters in some English Channel waters comes into effect today, following an agreement having been reached between representatives of French, Dutch, Belgian and UK fishing sectors.
So far the agreement applies only to Eastern Channel waters, although the parties concerned have agreed to meet again not later than September to discuss further measures.
According to Dutch fishing industry federation Visned, reaching an agreement was a protracted process as views and principles vary between nations – eventually leading to a compromise agreement.
The new management measures come into effect today for Area VIId.
Under the terms, France has 28 permits, Belgium has six, the Dutch fleet as 24 and the UK has 17, pending decisions yet to be made by the UK authorities.
Seine rope length is limited to 3200 metres and seine ropes may be a maximum of 55mm in diameter with a weight of 2kg/metre. The minimum allowable mesh size is 80mm.
Fly-shooting vessels are limited to a maximum of eight days at sea in each block of two weeks, the first of which commences on 19th April. Time at sea is to be calculated from logbook data, so each sea day starts at departure from port.
Dutch and Belgian fly-shooters are to remain outside the 9-mile line in VIId and outside the 12-mile line off the coast of Normandy.