Little armada sails in for the battle of Guernsey
Tuesday 03 December 1996
Sea Fisheries inspectors from Guernsey took the details of the boats, one of which was fishing, but no arrests were made.
The fishermen, from the Normandy port of Granville, were accompanied by a naval helicopter and a coast guard vessel, the Coriandre, which has apparently been ordered to intervene should any attempts be made to arrest the fishermen.
No Royal Navy patrol vessels were in the area. The only official British presence was inspector Stephen Ozanne and his colleagues in a chartered motorboat and a small inflatable.
The French fishermen are furious at Guernsey's decision to abandon a two-year-old agreement that permitted them to fish the area known as the Sark Box and another area, the Haricot.
Guernsey withdrew from the agreement at midnight on Saturday but a shortage of diesel fuel because of the strike by French lorry drivers, and 30-knot winds prevented the fishermen from making their protest until yesterday lunchtime. By then the winds had eased and the boats set sail for the Sark Box, to the south of Guernsey, arriving at around 2pm.
Although it is not thought likely that the British authorities will arrest the fishermen, Ron Le Moignan, a Guernsey councillor, issued a strong warning on Sunday, promising to "fight a guerrilla war with them". By yesterday the official Guernsey line had moderated, a diplomatic solution to the disagreement being considered more appropriate than confrontation. The Foreign Office is taking the same moderate line, seeking talks with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Paris.
"We have urged the French fishermen to show restraint," a Foreign Office spokesman said. "We are anxious that there should be talks as soon as possible to everyone's mutual agreement."
The French ministry, however, maintains that its fishermen have historic rights to enter the two areas under an agreement drawn up in 1839.
The fishing rights to the lucrative Channel Island waters have been disputed by the French for some years. In 1993 Mr Ozanne and his fellow Sea Fisheries officer Ben Remfrey were kidnapped by the crew of a French fishing boat which they had boarded and taken to Carteret.
They were immediately returned to Guernsey by the French police but the following day 39 French boats blockaded the entrance to St Peter Port, their crews demanding talks with the Guernsey authorities.
Several French fishermen have been heavily fined for illegal fishing in the waters but this seems to have done little to deter them. One, who was fined last year, said on French television: "If they attempt to arrest me they'll have to sink me before I will go back to St Peter Port."
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 2 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
- 5 Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
Matt Damon uses toilet water in ice bucket challenge to stress sanitation issues in developing world
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
Car tax disc changes: Make sure you know the new rules from 1 October or risk £1,000 fine
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >
£65000 - £75000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...
£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: School Receptionist - Part ...
£500 - £550 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently...
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A large and well established business is look...