Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

THE FRENCH FISHING LICENCE CRISIS

A joint statement has been made by the Minister for Environment, Deputy John Young, and the Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst, regarding the licensing of French fishing vessels

‘We are extremely disappointed at the French government’s announcement, made yesterday afternoon, pursuing an approach of retaliatory measures. Yesterday morning, Government of Jersey officers met officials from France, the UK and the European Commission, and made further progress on the outstanding applications from French vessels for licences to fish in Jersey’s territorial waters. 

‘The outcome of that meeting was that 162 French vessels will be licensed to fish in Jersey’s territorial waters from this Friday.

‘Of the 162 licences, 113 are permanent (categorised as “Green”) and 49 will be issued as temporary (“Orange”). Vessels that receive a temporary licence will be able to fish in Jersey waters until 31 January 2022, to give them time to provide further data which is necessary to secure a permanent licence. Jersey officials have agreed to examine in detail additional evidence that has been provided by French authorities in the last week.

‘Currently there are 55 vessels in a third (“Red”) category that will not have a licence to fish in Jersey waters after 31 October (this Sunday). The door remains open for further data to be submitted, and new applications that meet the criteria under the TCA can be submitted at any time.

‘Since our announcement on the 29th September, outlining vessel numbers in the three licensing categories, more evidence has been provided which has enabled the following changes:

2 vessels have moved from “Orange” to “Green”

18 vessels have moved from “Red” to “Orange”, including 13 agreed in the meeting yesterday

The “Red” category has accordingly dropped from 75 to 55 vessels.

‘This demonstrates Jersey’s responsive approach to assessing all the data it receives. This is a complex, evidence-based process, and we will continue to approach it with good faith. We have made ourselves available for further clarification and discussion when needed. Jersey has drawn upon the material provided by the EU, as well as the Government of Jersey’s own records, supplemented by commercially available information, to license every vessel for which evidence of a qualifying track record can be found.

‘We will continue to work closely with French authorities, the UK and the EU Commission – in accordance with the TCA – to ensure that vessels which are entitled to a permanent licence are able to receive one and can continue fishing in Jersey’s territorial waters in accordance with their historic track record.’

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