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    French Fishermen Threaten to Use 'Heavy Artillery' on UK Scallop Trawlers

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    Scallop fishing is a lucrative business with British and French anglers having long been at odds over the right to gather the prized shellfish in the fertile waters of the English Channel.

    French fishermen have threatened to use "the heavy artillery" on British scallop trawlers just days after clashing with their English counterparts for “pillaging” scallop supplies in the area, the Daily Mail wrote.

    Pierre Sophie, a French fisherman, has issued public threats, warning that the boats from Normandy will continue to attack British fisherman.

    “War is not over! We’ll come back with more boats! We’ll have to get the heavy artillery out!” he wrote on Facebook.
    Another fisherman, Steph LF, boasted about the attack, saying how "the little French frog… ate some f***ing British roast beef."

    In the latest violent clash over the scallop-rich waters in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, French and British boats clashed on Tuesday, with boats being rammed and firebombs lobbed by French fisherman, leaving British vessels in flames.

    There were about 40 French vessels and five British ones caught in the flare-up, The Sun wrote.

    Seven crew members on board the 90ft Scottish scallop dredger Honeybourne III, one of the five British boats blockaded by the 40 French vessels in the Channel, feared being torched and another British boat suffered fire damage from a flare.

    “There were about 40 boats. One boat got petrol bombed, others had windows smashed. I can't believe that someone wasn't killed,” a British fishing boat owner complained.

    Heavily outnumbered, the British anglers were demanding that the government intervened, with some asking for the navy to be drafted in for protection.

    “The reality is it must have been a very scary situation. The French authorities should be controlling their own people, but if they can’t do it we should be protected by the Navy. We are just trying to go about our jobs and these guys are getting threats and everything thrown at them,” another British fisherman, Graeme Sutherland, said.

    The Royal Navy's Fishery Protection Squadron could be deployed to protect ships, but this could prove to be a problem without the approval of the French, who are responsible for policing the disputed area off the Normandy coast.

    While the French leave scallop stocks to regenerate until October, Britons do not the face same restrictions.

    With tensions growing and French fishermen apparently planning to step up their attacks on British vessels, France's Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert confirmed that he had held talks with his British counterpart, George Eustice, to try to quell tensions in the ongoing  “scallop war.”

    "Because I am defending French fishermen and our fishing industry, I asked my English counterpart to see to it that English fishermen keep out of the area… where the clashes took place, until we have the necessary talks and meetings to find a solution," he told the radio station Europe 1.

    Travert indicated that the two nations would try to come to an agreement next week.

    READ MORE: Ferry Traffic Between France, UK Suspended Due to French Fishermen Blockade

    French officials have said that they will send more boats to police the area, if necessary.

    The dispute is over access to fertile scallop beds off the coast of Normandy.

    While the French leave scallop stocks to regenerate until October, Britons are not faced with the same restrictions.

    Related:

    'Sounds a Bit Fishy!' WATCH British, Norman Fishermen Clash at Sea Over Scallops
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    clashes, scallops, fishermen, Stephane Travert, Europe
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