Olivier Lepretre, President of the Fisheries Committee (CRPMEM) for the Hauts-de-France region, last month met French Minister of the Sea, Annick Girardin, to discuss what they see as the entirely insufficient number of fishing licenses granted to access the UK 6-12 mile zone.
‘Of the 70 eligible vessels in Hauts-de-France, only 31 licenses have been allocated,’ Olivier Lepretre said.
‘This is an unacceptable decision condemned by the entire sector. The UK authorities are refusing to grant full licences due to evidence deemed as insufficient. This work has been meticulously completed on the French side and fishermen believe they have been deceived by the British government.’
Annick Girardin has already called for European solidarity and asked the Commission to consider possible retaliatory measures.
‘As far as fishermen in northern France are concerned, in the absence of any results, blockading the port of Calais and exports to the United Kingdom for the period leading up to Christmas is an option,’ Olivier Lepretre said.