After two hours of talks, the answer was ‘no’, French fishermen can not have bigger than negotiated quotas. The European Commission has again rejected their request. Fisheries Minister Michel Barnier brought the matter up with his EU counterpart Joe Borg. His countrymen wanted more cod and sole. But in the end, the Frenchman accepted the established quotas: “They are what they are,” he said.
Brussels said France’s cod allowance had already been boosted 30% since last year. Fishermen in northern France have been protesting for the right to put out to sea again. But they have already reached their quotas on these species for the first half of this year. Brussels is suggesting reform which it says would encourage sustainable fishing by giving individual and transferable quotas to fishermen, instead of annual catch allowances being allotted to each country’s fleet.