Jersey

Call to protect Jersey waters from overfishing

Fishing protest
Image caption Fisherman Don Thompson said it was not just about fishing but the whole marine environment

Jersey fishermen and their supporters have marched through St Helier to protest over a lack of control of the island's waters.

About 100 people joined the march urging the States of Jersey to take action over concerns of overfishing.

The Bay of Granville Treaty, signed in 2000, means fishermen from France and Jersey can fish in each other's waters.

The treaty between the UK and France may be modified or scrapped under the Brexit transition negotiations.

Image caption Deputy Gregory Guida said it was a bad time for Jersey to try to renegotiate its own deal

French vessels wanting to fish in the water of neighbouring Guernsey, Alderney and Sark need to apply for permits from the States of Guernsey.

That system was put in place after the London Fisheries Convention ceased to apply following Brexit - meaning EU vessels no longer had access to the waters around the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Don Thompson, president of the Jersey Fishermen's Association, said: "It's all about the marine environment and taking care of it and looking after it for future generations."

Deputy John Young said politicians realised change was needed and he called for "an agreement where we respect long-standing rights of those small number of local [French] fishermen that traditionally have shared the waters, but excluding the large number of larger boats and make sure the licensing of those is controlled by Jersey".

Image caption Deputy John Young said it was important long-standing relationships were respected

Deputy Gregory Guida, assistant minister for the environment, said: "Fishing is going to be renegotiated between the UK and the EU and it's a very bad time for us to try to do the same when we don't know how it's going to end up."

Ministers are due to meet with their French counterparts to discuss the issue.

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