France’s Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin was quick to announce measures to support French fishermen following the Brexit deal, while laying out some of the implications for the French fishing fleet as a level of activity is maintained in UK waters in the terms of the agreement.
Between now and 1st June 2026 to reach a 25% reduction in its fishing allocations in UK waters, but until then the French fleet maintains its access to the UK EEZ as well as the 6-12 mile zone for non-quota species, including bass, squid and scallop.
Support for the French fishing sector takes a number of forms, including a flat-rate amount of up to €30,000 to fishermen and fish wholesalers, depending on the level of their reliance on UK waters.
Compensation will also be available for fishing companies and wholesalers during the first quarter of this year and plans are being made for buyouts of vessels that depend on UK fishing grounds, if their owners are looking to cease fishing activity, while a National Employment Fund for 6 to 12-month training courses supports retraining within the maritime sector.
Support is being made available from this month for fishing companies affected by Brexit, at both national and regional levels.
‘The conclusion of this agreement is good news for our fishermen. They will not be excluded from British waters,’ Annick Girardin said.
‘Fishing has been at the heart of the difficult Brexit negotiations and French fishermen have not become a bargaining chip. These negotiations were tough but they allow us to build the future of French and European fishing. The Government will very soon present its complete support plan for French fishermen.’