An agreement has been reached on the principles of a deal to end the ‘scallop wars’ in the English Channel, the UK and French governments have said.
It was decided that the previous agreement involving the 15m and over fleet will be renewed, following talks in London that included representatives of the UK and French fishing industries.
In a joint statement from the UK and French governments, they said: “In addition, there is agreement in principle for UK under-15m vessels to be included in the deal.
"This is subject to a reasonable compensation package, the details of which will be defined in Paris on Friday.
"In the meantime, there is a voluntary agreement for all UK vessels to respect the French closure period in the Baie de Seine."
‘A good deal’
No UK vessels will fish for scallops during the window in conflict, during which the French are not allowed to harvest the molluscs.
National regulations allow British ships to fish legally in the area all year round, but French fishermen are banned from taking scallops in the Baie de Seine between May 15 and October 1 to conserve stocks.
French industry representative Pascal Coquet told reporters outside the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), where negotiations were held, that it was a "good deal".
The talks were held after some 35 French boats confronted five British craft off the coast of northern France last week, with UK crews reporting that rocks, smoke bombs and other projectiles were hurled at them during the confrontation.