History has seen many great battles being fought at sea over the years, but the scallop war in the English Channel is something relatively new. Many hotspots for white fish are found off the Normandy coast of France and British fishermen have been allowed to share these waters, albeit with disgust from French businesses. So much so that some of the Mariners have started taking matters into their own hands and early Tuesday morning footage was released showing nearly 40 French ships chasing a small group of five British boats away using smoke bombs, flares and other dangerous objects.
These UK fishermen have demanded the support and security of the Royal Navy, as they describe terrifying encounters where they fear for their lives. Multiple British boats retreated from their expedition and returned home with smashed windows, and holes that affected the safety of the boats, as well as fire and smoke damage from flares and other devices that were launched at them from the French boats. It appears that these fishermen are growing increasingly angry at the activities of British vessels within their waters. The reason for such uproar is due to an agreement made previously by French authorities that only allows their own fishermen to fish in these waters between October and mid-May, but British vessels don’t have to abide by this, so no infringements have been made there. The accusations of the French are that the Brits have been significantly depleting scallop numbers in this thriving area - they’re calling for stricter laws because of this.
Officials are now in the process of meeting today to discuss some sort of solution to the ongoing dispute.
It’s said that the 40 French boats had met up as part of a pre-planned protest and many are condemning the actions of the French fishermen as piracy, which is being looked into through in-depth investigations. According to a French fishing chief, these waters will be off limits to Brits anyway once the Brexit deal has been fully agreed, so it may not be an issue for much longer.
The video below shows the violence that was caught on camera on Tuesday.