Forty-three fishing licences given to French vessels for Guernsey waters

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Fishing licences were being issued after "careful analysis" of applicant vessels' data, the States said

Forty-three licences are being granted to French fishing vessels to work within the Bailiwick of Guernsey's waters, the government has said.

The States of Guernsey said 40 licences were issued on Wednesday for qualifying vessels under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and they would be allowed to use them from February.

Three more were to be issued in due course, it added.

Fifteen other vessels applied but did not qualify, the States said.

When the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, it also withdrew from the London Fisheries Convention 1964, ending the access right for French vessels in the bailiwick's territorial waters.

Since then, interim arrangements have been in place and "all vessels listed on the interim authorisation will continue to be able to fish under the current interim arrangements until these expire, on 31 January 2022", the States said.

Reporting catches

The new licences, all for vessels registered in Normandy or Brittany, were issued after "careful analysis" of the boats submitted by the European Commission, "together with positional and catch data", the States said.

The vessels which did not get licences were being told they could reapply later, it added.

Neil Inder, president of the Committee for Economic Development, said licensees "will be expected to report all catch arising from bailiwick waters".

He added: "We now look forward to working with our neighbours on resuming access to the port of Diélette, so that Bailiwick fishermen can once again land their catch safely there, at the earliest possible opportunity."

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