French trawler rams UK boat in Jersey in post-Brexit fishing row 4 months ago

French trawler rams UK boat in Jersey in post-Brexit fishing row

Boat wars

It seems like tensions amongst some are rising, as boats continue to gather off the coast of Jersey amid the row between France and Britain surrounding post-Brexit fishing laws.

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And for one vessel, anger boiled over as the owner rammed his boat into a British vessel.

The British ship owned by Jonathan Ruff was hit by the French boat Lasgot as it went out to see whilst a blockade of French boats arrived near the St Helier dock.

As reported by LBC, fisherman Josh Dearing described the appearance of the French blockade as "like an invasion," and welcomed the presence of Royal Navy ships in the region.

He said that they were "completely unprotected" in Jersey.

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"We've got nothing except for a few police officers," Dearing explained. "We don't have a police boat, we don't have a navy boat, we don't have anything to protect us.

"The French can be hostile. All of our livelihoods are in that harbour and if they wanted to they could cause damage."

The French boats reportedly left St Helier at around 1.30pm.

Jersey's External Relations MinisterSenator Ian Gorst today told the station: "I understand that was high spirits and little or no damage was undertaken.

"But if there has been any breaking of regulations or Jersey law during the presence of those vessels in our waters then our law enforcement agencies will take appropriate action.

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"They have drones present, they were viewing what was happening in the demonstration, and if that is shown to have taken place then we will take appropriate action."

The tensions in Jersey's waters began after the island's government said French fishing boats would be required to obtain a licence to fish in the island's waters under the terms of the UK's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU which came into force last week.

It caused anger in French fishing communities who complained that boats which had operated there for years were suddenly having their access to the fisheries restricted.

A French minister has even threatened Paris cutting off electricity to Jersey, which gets 95% of its power from France, if the conflict was not resolved.

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