‘End this fraud’, French scallop dredgers demand after British vessel held

Empty scallop shells are seen on beach in Port-en-Bessin, France October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

French scallop fishermen said they were fed up with British vessels enjoying what they called unfair access to shellfish in their waters and demanded local authorities tougher action be taken.

Paris and London are locked in a row over access to British territorial waters for French fishermen in the wake of Brexit. French authorities on Thursday were holding a British scallop boat after it failed to show a permit for dredging off northern France.

“There has to be an end to this fraud,” Pascal Coquet, president of the National Scallop Fishermen’s Committee said. “Our boats don’t have the right to approach English shores because they lack the licenses. We can’t let them carry on like that.”

Britain said the vessel, which had been operating in the Baie de Seine, did have a licence.

The Baie de Seine was the scene for a dispute, dubbed the ‘Scallop Wars’, between French and British vessels in 2018, which saw crews at sea hurling projectiles at one another.

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