English Channel scallop fishing dispute

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English Channel scallop fishing dispute
Date10 October 2012 or 8 October 2012
28 August 2018
15 nautical miles (28 km) off the coast of Le Havre, France.
Caused byDifferent fishing restrictions on British and French scallop fishing.
French fishermen claim the British boats were within the 12-nautical-mile (22 km) fishing exclusion zone around the coast.
GoalsTo prevent British fishermen fishing for scallops.
Parties to the civil conflict
British scallop fishermen
French scallop fishermen
5 trawlers
40 boats
Casualties and losses
3 trawlers damaged
2 boats damaged
Channel map with main capes, islands and cities. Projection of Mercator, data as of 2005

The English Channel scallop fishing dispute, also called the Great Scallop War or guerre de la coquille, occurred on 10 October 2012[1] or 8 October 2012,[2] between British and French fishermen in the Channel 24 kilometres (15 mi) off the coast of Le Havre, France.[1][3] The dispute arose because of a difference in fishing restrictions between the two countries. British scallop fishers are allowed to fish for scallops all year round, whilst French scallop fishers are not permitted to fish between 15 May and 1 October each year.[4] A second confrontation took place in the same area on 28 August 2018..[5]


Approximately 40 French fishing boats surrounded five British fishing boats and, according to the British fishermen, tried to slam into the British boats as well as throw rocks and nets to try and damage the propellers and engines.[6] French fishermen claim that their action was in response to the British boats being inside the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy 19 kilometres (12 mi) fishing exclusion zone; British fishermen deny that they were within the exclusion zone.[2]

The British Marine Management Organisation informed French authorities. The French Navy intervened and a meeting took place between the French and British fishermen to resolve the dispute.[1]


On 28 August, 35 French fishing boats tried to prevent several British fishing vessels from catching sea scallops off the Normandy coast.[5] Violence began when three large British trawlers were chased by the French fishing boats. The British trawlers Golden Promise and Joanna C were damaged after being rammed and hit by stones, metal shackles, petrol bombs and rocket flares, and were eventually forced to seek shelter at Brixham. The Scottish dredger Honeybourne III attempted to ram a number of French boats after a fire erupted on board; three French vessels were also damaged. The Scottish trawler eventually docked at Shorenham. The violence has been condemned by both British and French officials. Talks started on 5 September but by the 12, failed to conclude due British and French intransigence.[7][8][9] The French Navy has vowed to intervene in the event of future clashes.[10]

Subsequently, a "crab war" has developed in which the British claim the French fishermen deliberately damaged their crab pots. This violence also has been condemned by both British and French officials.[11]

See also[edit]

1993 Cherbourg incident


  1. ^ a b c "Scallop War: French 'Pelt' British Fishermen". News.sky.com. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b Sawer, Patrick (21 October 2012). "Scallop wars: an uneasy ceasefire as fishermen await the next salvo". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  3. ^ Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent (10 October 2012). "British fishermen attacked by French boats in the Channel | Environment". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  4. ^ Hinnant, Lori (11 October 2012). "Scallop spat: UK, French fishermen in catch clash – US news – Environment | NBC News". MSNBC. Retrieved 21 October 2012.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b Scallop war: French and British boats clash in Channel
  6. ^ "Worldnews – French and British dispute over scallop fishing". FIS. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  7. ^ Minister Eustice Oral Statement on Scallops
  8. ^ News; World (30 August 2018). "Battle for the scallop: French and British vessels ram each other as seamen hurl rocket flares over fishing rights | National Post". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  9. ^ thegirlsun (30 August 2018). "Brit fisherman caught in scallop wars calls for Royal Navy to be sent to France to protect our boats". The Girl Sun. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  10. ^ French navy will 'intervene' to avert fresh 'scallop war' as Gallic fishermen vow fresh 'assault' if no deal reached
  11. ^ Ward, Victoria (20 September 2018). "Scallop wars barely over as new accusations from Cornish fishermen spark crab wars". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 7 February 2019.