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“Extent and Nature” fishing licence permits to be implemented

31 January 2023

​Permits which relate to ‘extent and nature’ - the type and amount of fishing activity that an EU fishing vessel undertakes in Jersey waters - will take effect on Wednesday 1 February 2023. This new arrangement will allow a stable and predictable fishing relationship with regional partners. 

Following extensive discussions with the EU, France, and UK, as well as liaison with the French regional fishing authorities, the Government of Jersey will implement the fisheries provisions dealing with specific access arrangements for Jersey waters in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (‘the TCA’). This brings into effect new controls on EU fishing activity, maintaining effort to reflect the fishing activity in the three years just before the UK left the EU. 

The permits will be attached to the 136 permanent licences which the Government of Jersey has issued to EU vessels when those licences are renewed on 1 February 2023.

Relevant stakeholders have been informed in advance, including the regional fishing bodies in Normandy and Brittany and the Jersey Fishermen’s Association.

In a small number of cases the original licenced EU vessel is no longer in use. An amendment to Jersey legislation to enable the licences and permits assigned to an original licenced vessel to be transferred to a replacement vessel has been adopted in principle by the Assembly. Subject to its scrutiny and final approval, the Government intends to licence replacement vessels in accordance with a published policy.

The Minister for Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, said:

“These permits are designed to implement the access provisions in the TCA, ensuring that our EU colleagues who have a track-record of fishing in Jersey waters, can continue to do so. The permits will also contribute to the sustainable management of fishing activity in our waters.

“The amendments that I have brought to the Assembly to enable replacement vessels to be licenced will support the implementation of Jersey’s obligations under the TCA by enabling EU vessels to be replaced, but also ensure the Government control the size and power of their replacements.

“Throughout this process we have shown good faith and an understanding of the concerns of the fishing communities in both Normandy and Brittany. As we move past 1 February, we will continue to show any necessary flexibility in the practical implementation of these permits. 

“The implementation and monitoring of permits for all vessels fishing in Jersey waters is of critical importance to our marine environment and the preservation of our fish stocks.

“Support will also be provided to our local fishing fleet, as per the announcement of the Maritime Sector Support Scheme by the Minister for Economic Development earlier this month. This will provide £300,000 to our fishing and associated industries to manage rising costs in fuel and staffing, increased safety requirements, as well as longer-term business investment”. 

The Minister for External Relations, Deputy Philip Ozouf, said:

“I am encouraged that we are beginning to reach a point where the fishing communities in Jersey and France can begin to look to the future, where fishing is undertaken in an economically and environmentally stable manner. 

“As a government we are committed to working closely with our French colleagues on maritime matters, which is of great economic and cultural importance to us both. The recent relaxation of port opening times in France is a perfect example of this cooperation and mutual understanding in practice. There are other issues which we are in discussions with the French authorities on, to further improve the viability and sustainability of both Jersey and French fishers.

“We share strong, historic links with our French cousins, and I am confident that these relations will deepen and develop in the months and years ahead”.

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