43 French boats obtain licenses to continue fishing in British waters

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PARIS, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The government of Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Islands, has granted fishing licenses to 43 out 58 French boats that applied for the permit, allowing them to continue fishing in the English Channel after Feb. 1, 2022, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Wednesday.

The French boats will be able to operate in the zone of 6-12 nautical miles off the island, just as it was before Brexit, Le Monde said.

The local authorities said that "additional data will be examined" concerning the other 15 boats.

Jonathan Le Tocq, the minister of foreign affairs of the island, saluted this "important milestone", hoping this announcement will help bring "certainty and stability" to French fishing boat operators.

Annick Girardin, the French minister of the sea, also welcomed the announcement as "excellent news".

However, she was quoted as saying that "the fight (between Paris and London over fishing quotas) isn't over. 111 licenses remain to be obtained."

In the past few weeks, Paris and London locked horns over fishing rights in the English Channel following Brexit.

The French government has accused islands off the English Channel of non-cooperation on the issue, urging the UK to step in and speed up the decision making process. However, London has been reluctant to grant licenses to some of the French fishing boats. Enditem

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