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French fishermen warn of blockades in UK licence row by Lucy Williamson October 14,2021   |  Source: BBC News

The French Fisheries Minister, Annick Girardin, backed by ten other EU nations, this week challenged the UK requirement that boats prove their historic presence in British waters, and called the UK's response "incomplete and inappropriate".

Olivier Leprêtre, a fisherman himself, is president of the regional fishing community in Hauts-de-France.

The requirement for fishermen to provide proof of their presence in British waters between 2012 and 2016 is very difficult, he says, because smaller boats didn't have the equipment back then.

In parliament last week, French Prime Minister Jean Castex called the row over licences a matter of principle that went beyond fishing. It was, he said, about getting the British to "respect their word".

The battle for resources in this slim strip of sea is fierce; but with cross-Channel tensions already high and French presidential elections due next year, it's a battle that's being waged just as fiercely on land.

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Theme(s): Post Harvest Technology and Trade.

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