Guernsey granted Wednesday 1er December 43 fishing licenses to French boats which will thus be able to continue fishing in its waters after the 1er February 2022, the Channel Island government announced. This announcement comes in the midst of a standoff between Paris and London over post-Brexit fishing licenses, the French government accusing the British of granting too few of them.
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By adding three other boats which will replace ships which have left the French fleet, Guernsey thus grants 43 licenses out of 58 requests. They will be able to fish in the 6-12 nautical mile zone off the island, as was the case before Brexit. For the other 15 boats, “any additional data will be reviewed”, the Guernsey government said in a statement.
For the French Minister for the Sea, it is “great news” corn ” the fight ” continue for “111 licenses” post-Brexit remaining to be obtained for French fishermen. “We, European Commission and France, have made good progress in a few weeks with Guernsey. The efforts pay off and the work continues to give maximum visibility to professionals. The fight is not over: 111 licenses remain to be obtained », mainly from Jersey and London, said Annick Girardin.
“An important step”
The island’s foreign minister, Jonathan Le Tocq, hailed a “milestone” of its licensing roadmap, hoping that it brings “certainty and stability”.
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The issue of fishing licenses is less of a problem with Guernsey, which Paris sees as a “reliable partner” in the negotiation than it is with London and Jersey. EU fishermen can continue to work in UK waters provided they can prove they have fished there before. But the French and the British argue over the nature and extent of the supporting documents to be provided.
Since the 1er January 2021, France has thus obtained around a thousand fishing licenses in British waters and those of the Channel Islands, but Paris is still claiming a hundred. The European Commission recently asked London to settle the post-Brexit dispute over fishing licenses with France by December 10.