Written by By Ana Madrid, CNN Los Angeles, California
French fishermen have threatened to block the Channel Tunnel and French ports to protest against the expropriation of fishing licenses from their owners.
The fishermen have promised to “refuse all entry to French waters,” after the government awarded preferential fishing rights to foreign companies in 2016. They currently oppose the issue at the European Commission in Brussels.
“The French government is unfortunately repeating the errors of the past,” French fishermen union representatives said in a statement released on Friday. “On the one hand, this decision creates a false peace with sharks, costing tens of thousands of euros for our members; on the other hand, it is putting off foreign investors, such as TESCO fish in Denmark, from taking risks.”
Fishermen suspended operations and blocked at least five French ports for several hours earlier this month over the same issue.
Jérôme Gueant, France’s industry minister, told Le Monde newspaper on Friday that the authorities had sought to amend the terms of the license after fishermen blocked ports.
“The conditions have been changed as a direct consequence of the problems and in the interest of the fishing fleet and the country,” he said.
The French fishing industry comprises four main units — the fishing of clams, water creatures, fish and also the “fish farming of the caviar market,” where the fishers make money by growing caviar or other edible caviar fish in tanks.
After ten years in operation, TESCO fish are being hunted in Denmark and taken to French ports, according to a study published last year by the French Academy of Science.