Talks to end 'scallop wars' between UK and France collapse
Fishing industry Talks to end 'scallop wars' between UK and France collapse
French minister âregretsâ failure to reach agreement to end the fisheries dispute in the Channel
Negotiations between British and French fishermen to end the âscallop warsâ in the Channel have collapsed.
Industry leaders had been working to agree com pensation for UK mariners to prevent them foraging for the molluscs in a disputed territory during a period when the French are banned under domestic law.
But it was announced on Wednesday that talks had ended without a deal, risking a return to recent skirmishes in the Baie de Seine north of Normandy.
The Scottish White Fish Producers Association said it was âdisappointing for everyoneâ, adding: âNo one wants to see conflict on the high seas.â
The French food and agriculture minister, Stephane Travert, said he âregrettedâ the failure, but he added that he âsalutesâ the efforts of the French fishermen to âpropose reasonable compensationâ.
Talks had been held both sides of the Channel after trouble flared in recent weeks.
Some 35 French boats confronted five British craft off the coast of northern France, with reports of rocks and smoke bombs being hurled at UK vessels.
British ships can legally forage in the Baie all year round. But the French are prevented from taking scallops there between 15 May and 1 October to conserve stocks.
An industry accord prevented UK vessels larger than 15 metres doing so too, but smaller ones could help themselves.
The basis of an agreement was formed in London last week, with small UK vessels pledging not to fish in the area of dispute during the period French laws prevented their counterparts.
But this was on the basis British crews would not lose out financially and a compensation package was being debated.
The price appears to have been too high for the French. With the breakdown of negotiations, British scallop catchers may return to the disputed territory.Topics
- Fishing industry
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