Over 40 fishermen from the northern French region of Normandy approached their English counterparts with scallops caught at sea to express their dissatisfaction.
The encounter turned into a full-scale surf turf war, as French boats surrounded English vessels in a gutsy Gallic attempt to stop them from fishing.
The Normans started throwing stones and smoke pellets, while some went full Trafalgar, ramming the English. Three vessels were damaged and punctured in the skiff scuffle with the Norman ‘navy’.
The British beat a hasty retreat, only to turn around and attempt to retaliate; but by then the gendarmes intervened.
The battle, however, got an ironic reaction on Twitter.
I really hope there is a wikipedia page labelled 'Scallop War'— Michael Bretton (@mbretton) 29 августа 2018 г.
Sounds a bit fishy to me!!— SIMMO (@SIMMO02043795) 29 августа 2018 г.
Did the scallops has blue or maroon passport's?— Stop Brexit Madness (@DbAshby) 29 августа 2018 г.
The references to times of yore couldn’t be avoided
Some felt sorry for the French.
The French have my sympathy here as the British boats are operating in the French Closed season. I'd like to see similar behaviour in our coastal waters to protect our fishing.— Derek Coventry (@Green_Plover) 29 августа 2018 г.
Accused or actually doing it? Looks clear from what you showed us. What about a report on how Spanish and Portuguese fishing boats have ruined fish stocks off the coast of UK since 1970s by over fishing?— Martin (@melyon66) 29 августа 2018 г.
The French have had held a grudge towards their English counterparts for long time, as the first ones are only allowed to start catching on October 1, while the Brits have no such restrictions, scraping scallops weeks before their tricolor-waving continental colleagues get into the game. So, the Normans complain of unfair competition in international waters. While the start date for fishing differs depending on the country, EU regulation states that vessels registered there generally enjoy equal access to all EU waters and resources managed by the CFP (Common Fisheries Policy), if they have fishing license.
However, the rule has a loop, saying “in waters within 12 nautical miles of its coasts, an EU country may restrict access to vessels traditionally fishing in those waters from ports on the adjacent coast to vessels from neighboring countries.” The Belgians, the British, the Dutch and the Spaniards have access to certain areas of the French coast.