Europe

British shellfish trawler seized by French insists it was ‘legally fishing’

France seizes British boat amidst Brexit fishing row

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Andrew Brown, director of Macduff Shellfish, said the detained Cornelis Gert Jan is being used as a “pawn in an ongoing dispute”. Mr Brown said: “The UK scallop fleet is given access to French waters under the Brexit Fisheries Agreement. 

We are looking to the UK Government to defend the rights of the UK fishing fleet and ensure that the fishing rights provided under the Brexit Fishing agreement are fully respected by the EU.” 

The boat was seized and ordered into Le Havre port for detention, where it remained under guard last night. 

Its scallop haul was said to have been thrown overboard by the French. 

Another trawler received a fine. 

French maritime minister Annick Girardin spoke of “a fight” and warned her country may no longer let UK fishing boats disembark at ports next week. 

Environment Secretary George Eustice suggested that threat and another to tighten checks appear to breach international law and said the UK will deliver an “appropriate and calibrated response” to hostile measures.

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