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French fisheries banned from northern sea post Brexit

Unforeseen prohibition placed on maritime vessels off coast of Normandy

Cindi Cook   | 03.02.2020
French fisheries banned from northern sea post Brexit

PARIS

Brexit left a wake -- both literally and figuratively -- on European states, most particularly France where fisherman suffered a temporary ban in waters surrounding Guernsey off the Normandy coast. 

The restriction took place at midnight on Jan. 31, when Brexit officially passed, and the U.K. left the EU.

Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands located in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, France.

The ban involves administrative changes that authorities are to hammer out over the following days, according to the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

In an official statement published Saturday on their website, the ministry declared: "Access by French fisherman to 6-12 miles is based on the London Convention, which also expires on January 31 at midnight, following the denunciation of the United Kingdom."

But access to the waters is maintained until the end of 2020. In other words, the year will provide a transition period.

The ministry added: "However, administratively, due to the expiration of the London Convention ... the authorities of Guernsey have decided this evening to establish an individual authorization scheme. The procedure for requesting these authorizations must be put in place next week. During this period, access by French vessels to Guernsey waters is temporarily suspended."

The 1972 London Convention regulated pollution at sea and reduced ocean dumping.

Guernsey is a self-governed territory, and a dependency of the British Monarchy. It is not under the auspices of the U.K., although the government handles a measure of Guernsey's foreign and defense relations.

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