States of Guernsey

05/26/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/26/2021 04:36

Bailiwick of Guernsey further extends interim fishing authorisation regime

Wednesday 26 May 2021

The Bailiwick of Guernsey has agreed to a further extension of its interim fishing authorisation regime until the end of June 2021. The interim fishing authorisation allows for certain French vessels to fish in Bailiwick waters following the UK's exit from the EU and this extension allows for the remaining licensing issues to be resolved before the final TCA fishing licenses can be issued to qualifying French vessels.

When the transition period ended on 31 December 2020, it had been anticipated that a new licensing regime, established using a track record period in accordance with the new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ('the TCA'), would be in effect by 1 April 2021. Due to ongoing UK-EU technical work, with input from the Crown Dependencies, on how certain provisions of the TCA will be reflected in licences, the interim authorisation has since been extended. On 25 May the Committee for Economic Development agreed that the interim authorisation would be extended for a further month until 30 June 2021, following previous extensions in March and April.

As part of continued dialogue with the authorities in Normandy and La Manche, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Policy & Resources Committee lead for external relations, and Deputy Neil Inder, President of the Committee for Economic Development met on 25 May with Marc Lefèvre, President of the departmental council of La Manche, and Hervé Morin, President of the regional council of Normandy, to update them on the current interim arrangements and the approach to future licensing policy.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq said:

'The decision to extend the interim licensing regime for a further month provides certainty for French fishing vessels while the final remaining technical issues are being resolved. This will ensure that we will be able to approach the licensing process with clarity and transparency, in the spirit of the TCA to support our wider engagement with our closest neighbours. We continue to have a constructive relationship with the neighbouring authorities in Normandy and La Manche and are in regular dialogue as we finalise and move towards the implementation of the TCA licensing regime. I look forward to discussing arrangements for our mutual benefit, including to reopen access to Diélette for Bailiwick fishermen once the TCA licensing regime is in place.'

Deputy Neil Inder added:

'It is important that we maintain a stable and predictable economic relationship for the fishing industry in and around the Bailiwick. We are dependent on trade both in terms of access to waters and in terms of access to ports and EU markets. The TCA seeks to balance these interests and interrelationships to ensure peaceful use of our waters under the limited terms of access granted in the treaty and under the control of the Bailiwick. We look forward to the full implementation of the TCA licensing regime in order to ensure the objectives are achieved. In the meantime, the extension approved by the Committee on 25 May reflects the importance of allowing sufficient time for the ongoing discussions, so that when we issue licences we can be confident that they are fully reflective of the Bailiwick's obligations under the TCA.'

Marc Lefèvre, President of the departmental council of La Manche, and Hervé Morin, President of the regional council of Normandy, said:

'We appreciate the spirit of openness and transparency that marks our discussions. This is likely to maintain a calm atmosphere between our professionals and our institutions.'