Jersey fisherman says Brexit deal will not give island power over its waters

Don Thompson, President of Jersey Fishermen's Association
Mr Thompson says the new regulations do not restore sovereignty to Jersey over its waters. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The head of Jersey Fishermen's Association says the UK’s Brexit deal will not give the island power over its waters.

States members in Jersey approved the Sea fisheries regulations on Sunday (27 December).

The new regulations will supersede the current, Granville Bay Agreement (GBA) which has been accused of being biased in favour of French fishermen. Under the GBA, French vessels were granted access to Jersey waters, by French Authorities.

The new regulations will give Jersey the sole power to issue licences to boats wishing to fish in Jersey waters. However it has not gone down well with the head of the Fishermen's Association.

To acquire a licence under the new agreement, French vessels will have to prove historic activity in Jersey’s waters. They will have to provide evidence of ten days of activity or more in three twelve months periods – namely 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Environment Minister says its an ‘open secret’ that fishermen had higher expectations of the agreement and had wanted sole control of Jersey’s waters.