“We believe that if new requirements for demarcating areas or fishing equipment are included in the licenses, they will be considered null and void,” the French news agency (AFP) quoted a source from the French ministry as saying.
France will continue to ensure that “strict compliance with the fishing agreement” negotiated under “Brexit” – the UK’s exit from the European Union – is respected, the source said.
“If the United Kingdom intends to introduce new provisions, it must notify the European Commission, which in turn notifies us, allowing us to start a dialogue immediately. At this stage, we consider that these new technical measures do not apply to our fishermen,” the French government said.
On Friday, the United Kingdom published a list of 41 ships equipped with a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS, a device that tracks ship locations) authorized to fish from Saturday in Jersey waters.
The source at the French Ministry of the Sea said that the list is accompanied by new requirements that “have not been merged, discussed or notified before.”
The new requirements include the delineation of new fishing grounds in the waters around Jersey Island.
The source added: “To summarize, they specify where the ships can go or not go,” adding that among the new requirements, the number of days that fishermen can spend at sea “and what equipment are.”
The French Ministry of the Sea indicated that it had already informed the European Commission of these new “unspecified” measures.
The source said, “The commission is negotiating and will now negotiate, so we hope to start discussions with the United Kingdom to understand what the new requirements mean, and then give us the necessary clarifications.”
Read also: Northern Ireland celebrates its centenary with discretion