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New Guernsey and France fishing deal in the works

New Guernsey and France fishing deal in the works

Wednesday 09 October 2019

New Guernsey and France fishing deal in the works

Discussions are continuing over Guernsey's maritime relationship with France - including the potential for a fishing deal that could mirror Jersey's Bay of Granville agreement.

Policy & Resource's External Affairs Minister Jonathan Le Tocq attended a political summit with representatives from Jersey, Normandy and the department of La Manche to re-sign a cooperation agreement that promotes greater partnership between the jurisdictions.

"As we work towards the UK's withdrawal from the EU we are seeking stability and to minimise disruption caused by the UK exit," said Deputy Le Tocq. "This includes seeking agreement to manage how fisheries matters will be affected. It is our desire to be able to settle these issue directly to protect our interests, ensure we conserve our marine environment and balance our interests in cross border trade.

"I look forward to continuing these discussions as we look to strengthen our relationship with Normandy and France, for our mutual benefit and where our interests are aligned."

fishing boat

Pictured: Guernsey's territorial seas were extended from three to 12 nautical miles earlier this year, however fishing access in the waters around the Bailiwick, from zero to 12 nautical miles, remain unchanged.

Hervé Morin, President of the Region of Normandy, said discussions between the jurisdictions are advanced. 

“I am delighted that we have a consensus with our cousins from the Channel Islands on the willingness to maintain the Granville Bay Agreement with Jersey and implement a similar type of agreement with Guernsey," he said. "We are going to talk to our respective ministers as well as Brussels in order to obtain the possibility of reaching a local agreement on the latter when the competency relies on Member States and the European Union.”

Senator Ian Gorst, Minister for External Relations in Jersey, said all of the political leaders present affirmed that co-operation is key following the UK’s exit from the EU.

"I agreed with my Norman colleagues that the cooperation between Jersey and France under the Bay of Granville Agreement was an example of mutual benefits that can derive from working together," he said. "We agreed to continue discussions about this. I welcome the Normandy regional authority’s commitment to smooth market access for Jersey fishermen, and am happy to say we have agreed to support a project which will facilitate landings in Granville.”

Pictured top: Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, second right, with other political leaders who attended the annual summit. 

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