Boats attacked in scallops row

French fishermen have reportedly been pelting British boats with rocks and flares in a row over scallop fishing in the English Channel, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) said today.

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French authorities 'intervened' in scallop row

Rod Henderson, head of coastal operations for the the Marine Management Organisation, said:

As soon as the MMO was made aware of the situation, our officers contacted the French authorities and encouraged them to intervene. They did and are continuing to deal with this matter.

It is the responsibility of the French authorities to ensure the safety of UK vessels in their waters. Had the situation occurred in UK waters, the Royal Navy would have responded.

Royal Navy fisheries protection vessels do sometimes cross the median line into French waters where a joint operation has been pre-agreed. The next joint operation is already scheduled, and the Royal Navy may soon have a presence in the area as part of this patrol.

The MMO is continuing high-level discussions with French counterparts to seek assurances that these issues will not recur.

The MMO is also liaising with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which has responsibility for collision at sea regulations, to resolve this issue.

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