October 5, 2023

A captured British fishing vessel is back at sea

A captured British fishing vessel is back at sea

In the past few days, it has become a kind of symbol of the current dispute over fishing rights between Great Britain and France, and now the Scottish trawler “Cornelis Geert Jan” is back on the high seas.

The Court of Appeals in Rouen allowed the ship’s crew, accused of poaching more than two tons of scallops without a license, to set sail without paying bail.

The French state had requested the closure pending the payment of a deposit of 150,000 euros.

The confiscation of the boat came amid an Anglo-French dispute over licenses allowing French boats to fish in British waters.

France accuses the United Kingdom of refusing permits for French fishermen, and in response, has threatened to close British ships in French ports and tighten border controls on British goods.

On the other hand, London insists on acting on the basis of a post-Brexit agreement with the European Union and threatens to take legal action if France does not back down from its threats.

“Everything was fine on the bridge”

Perhaps the reason for the arrest of the categorical was due to bureaucratic negligence. The ship’s captain, Gundy Ward, stated in an appeals court hearing that the French Maritime Police had closed the fishing vessel because it was not registered in the European Register when it was fishing off the coast of Normandy.

He could not say whether it was a mistake by the British or French authorities.

“Everything was fine on the bridge and as far as I know we did everything we could to comply with the rules,” he said. His boat was “certainly” in the midst of a Franco-British dispute over post-Brexit fishing agreements.

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This was followed by an incoming lawyer. In light of the current political climate, the issue has become completely disproportionate.