Jersey fishing boat turned away from France over paperwork

image captionThe first vessel to arrive in France after Brexit was turned away over not having a signature verifying online documentation

The first Jersey fishing vessel trying to land its catch in France after Brexit was turned away over paperwork.

The crew of L'Ecume 2 were told they needed a physical signature from the Government of Jersey verifying their online documentation, the Jersey Fishermen's Association said.

They returned to Jersey to get the signature before being allowed to land.

The island's government said it was working to resolve issues delaying fish exports "as fast as we can".

President of the association Don Thompson, said the boat was required by the French to return for verification from Jersey, despite EU systems being designed to work entirely electronically.

He added a major exporter of fish from Jersey, Aqua-Mar Fisheries, has also been told it cannot land stocks in Granville, he added.

Helpful discussion

Mr Thompson said Jersey's government had offered to support the industry financially while there was disruption, but what crews wanted to do was "go out to sea and make their livelihoods for them and their families" .

He said: "They want to go and make a legitimate living, they don't want to be paid off.

"Frankly it's offensive to say 'we will support our fishermen financially through this difficult period'."

Environment Minister John Young, who has responsibility for Jersey fishing, said he has had helpful discussions with the French on Wednesday and hopes to find a solution quickly.

He explained the procedures had been prepared at the "eleventh hour" which had resulted in some "gaps".

"What we've all been trying to do is plug those as fast as we can."

He added he was "disappointed" Mr Thompson felt offended by offers to support the industry while it adjusted to new regulations.

"We need to provide the industry with that support, whether that's money in the pocket or us taking on certain services, we will do that," Deputy Young said.

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