French fishing trawlers are blockading three Channel ports – disrupting ferry and freight traffic in a row over fishing quotas.
Entire fleets of boats prevented ships entering or leaving harbours at Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk. Hanging an effigy of a Brussels bureaucrat from the rigging of his trawler, one angry skipper left no doubt as to what he thought of a recent 30 per cent increase in European Commission cod quotas. José Huleux, President of the Fishermen’s Association of Calais said: “We have reached the quotas. We have worked for four months now and would very much like to work the following eight months so we are asking for additional quotas.” Fishing boat crews blocked entrances to ports with blazing tyres and burning rubbish and fired distress flares into the air. French fishing union officials say they hope to spread the protests to Dieppe, Le Havre and Cherbourg. In Britain police are warning of serious delays as traffic bound for the continent stacks up on approach roads to the channel port of Dover.