Advertisement

France frees impounded British scallop trawler

Share this article

A typical French scallop trawler, photographed last year. Photo:Damien Meyer/AFP
15:25 CET+01:00
France has released a British trawler suspected of illegally dredging scallops in French waters after its owner paid €50,000 ($65,000) in bail, officials said on Thursday.

The Van Dijck left the port of Caen-Ouistreham on the Normandy coast, the port authority said, with its captain due to appear in court on May 15 to face charges.

The boat was impounded on Wednesday following an on-board inspection earlier this week on the edge of France's territorial waters, 12 nautical miles (about 22 kilometres) offshore.

French authorities ordered the captain to dump all 21 tonnes of scallops on board, a catch worth hundreds of thousands of euros (dollars) in the retail
market. Officials had earlier given a figure of 17 tonnes but that had not included the day's catch.

The incident followed clashes in October when the crews on five British trawlers claimed to have been surrounded and stoned by a flotilla of 40 French
boats while attempting to gather scallops from beds off the port of Le Havre.

The British fishermen, who called on the government to send the Royal Navy to protect them, claimed they had been fishing legally in international waters.

Their French counterparts accuse them of regularly encroaching into their territorial waters and undermining efforts to preserve stocks.

Story continues below…

The Van Dijck was the third British boat to have been detained and accused of illegal fishing in French waters in five months, following two similar interceptions in September.

A judgement on whether the first boat to be detained did actually breach the rules is due on January 16.

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

How to get British healthcare no matter where you are

Navigating the health care system in another country can be tough, and even when it all works out, sometimes you just miss the comfort of the system back home. But there's a solution.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement