French fishermen leave Jersey's main harbour

  • Footage shows two boats colliding in Jersey's harbour

A flotilla of French fishermen blockaded Jersey's main harbour this morning (6 May).

It came after authorities in Jersey rejected some applications for licences to fish in the island's waters.

Around 70 boats made the journey to express their anger and frustration.

Jersey's government have met with French fishing leaders to discuss a resolution to the dispute.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated the UK's "unequivocal support" to Jersey in the fishing dispute.

The island's External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst says extensive efforts are continuing to "resolve the current dispute and resume previous good relations".

Ports of Jersey confirmed that French military ship Athos has not entered the island's waters after it was spotted sailing towards the Channel Islands.

  • Boats descend on Jersey's main harbour in the early hours of Thursday morning (6 May).

They have had no contact with Athos's crew and will not communicate with the vessel unless it enters Jersey waters.

Two British ships were deployed in the area following a meeting between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Jersey's Chief Minister John Le Fondré.

French military ship Athos has not entered Jersey's waters after it was spotted sailing towards the Channel Islands. Credit:

The protest in the harbour entrance is peaceful, however a member of the Jersey Militia did appear on the battlements of Elizabeth Castle and fired a musket on the French boats.

  • A member of the Jersey Militia reenactment group was seen firing on the French boats with a musket from Elizabeth Castle

An essential supplies ship has left Jersey's harbour after it was held up by the dispute.

The Commodore Goodwill docked earlier than scheduled this morning and was delayed by over four hours.

However, the ship's operator Condor Ferries has confirmed there will be no impact to the freight supply chain, which brings 95% of essential food, medical and other goods into the Channel Islands.

Two offshore Navy patrol boats have been sent to “monitor the situation” in Jersey as rows over post-Brexit fishing rights escalate.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson says HMS Severn and HMS Tamar have been deployed to conduct "maritime security patrols".

This is being described as a "precautionary measure" which has been agreed with the relevant authorities in Jersey.

On 5 May, a Downing Street spokesperson said, "the Prime Minister and Chief Minister stressed the urgent need for a de-escalation in tensions and for dialogue between Jersey and France on fishing access.

“The Prime Minister underlined his unwavering support for Jersey. He said that any blockade would be completely unjustified.

"As a precautionary measure the UK will be sending two offshore patrol vessels to monitor the situation.

“They agreed the UK and Jersey governments would continue to work closely on this issue.”

Jersey's Chief Minister and External Relations Minister have welcomed the support from the UK Government and say they "will continue to liaise closely with UK and EU officials over the coming hours and days to achieve a pragmatic solution".

The French fishermen are retaliating after authorities in Jersey rejected some applications for licences to fish in local waters.

It prompted France's Maritime Minister to back fishermen's calls to cut off Jersey's electricity supply over the disagreement.

Annick Girardin reportedly told the parliament in Paris on 4 May that her administration was "ready to use... retaliation measures" against the Channel Islands.

Politicians locally and Jersey Electricity have reassured islanders that "Jersey’s essential infrastructure will not be disrupted as local facilities are able to meet our power requirements in the event of any external interruption".