Skip to comments.Fish wars as Devon boats under attack by rival French scallopers
Posted on 10/14/2020 10:45:42 AM PDT by nickcarraway
One of the Brixham boats was under attack as 15 boats surrounded him
Fish wars have broken out in the English Channel as French scallopers confronted their Devon counterparts - firing flares and throwing FRYING PANS.
Two Brixham boats, the Girl Macey, skippered by Scott Glover, and the Golden Promise, by Brian Whittington, were involved in the deep-sea skirmish last night.
They were surrounded by around 20 French vessels and were pelted by objects including frying pans and rocks and a dangerous flare was fired into the wheelhouse of the Girl Macy. The hostile French crews also threw oil at the Brixham boat.
The outbreak of violence has sparked fears of loss of life if hostilities keep worsening each year.
Brian 'Winkle' Whittington, 43, skipper of the Golden Promise, said: "I was expecting it this time, they only do it in the dark.
"We can't use the radio when they do it as they just talk over us instantly, so I couldn't check on Scott to see how he was.
"We were about two miles apart and I had two or three boats around me. Scott had 15 around him, they were throwing oil at him and firing flares.
"I was mentally prepared for it, I knew it was going to happen again."
And Derek Meredith, a fishermen from Brixham and owner of the Golden Promise, believes that tensions are heightening in the channel.
He said that this incident could have easily resulted in a death, as the flare could have set the Gal Macey on fire.
Derek said: "When I heard about it I was very concerned, if that flare went into the wheel house the boat would have burned up, and would the French have helped?
"The boat would sink and the French would just leave our boys to drown.
"They shouldn't be doing what they're doing but they seem to get away with it every year."
Derek also called on the Royal Navy to help British fishermen, saying they were routinely attacked while doing their jobs.
He said that despite growing tensions and worsening conflict, nothing is done and his crew are left to fend for themselves.
He added: "They act very aggressively, they do every year.
"Last year they smashed our windows and stuff and nothing happened - they get away with it every year.
"The fishermen were surrounding out boats and throwing things at them, it's the same as last year.
"They pull in front of the fishing boat so it has to drop out of gear, and they will then chaperone you to the area where they want you to fish."
Tensions have been growing each year due to a difference in fishing restrictions between the UK and France.
British scallopers are allowed to fish year round, but the French are not permitted to fish between May 15 and October 1.
This creates hostility towards the British fishermen, and the French try to keep the best stock for themselves and keep UK boats out of the good areas.
Derek added: "It's a load of rubbish, we haven't done nothing wrong.
"What the French were saying is a load of crap, that our boats were fishing in the wrong place.
"Over there, the Navy are on it and take you in if you do go into the wrong area, they track you all the time."
Despite knowing their fate, the fishermen are returning to the scene today to continue fishing for scallops so they can earn their livelihood.
Brian added: "I'm going back over there today, it will happen again tonight. It will take me about ten hours to get there, I'm mentally prepared for it to happen again.
"We don't fight back, if we start throwing things at them then it will be our fault and not theirs."
The attacks following similar scenes last year when Derek said he had six crew members on the Golden Promise and Joanna C who have been left ''extremely shaken'' by an early morning attack in the English Channel.
He said his crew tried to protect themselves from objects being thrown at them - while the French Navy just stood and watched.
And he claimed one of his boats could have sank after the water tight integrity was breached by a flying shackle during the terrifying two hour ordeal.
It's not exactly the Battle of Hastings, but part of a long tradition.
Was anyone taunted mercilessly?
Farted in their general direction?
The French threw frying pans at them?
Those dirty bastards!
Throw deodorant at them!
Filthy ticket resellers!
The waste...the waste...oh, I hate to see a frying pan wasted.
Deadly frying pans there outta be a law
D-day map. Does Omaha beach have the best scallops?
30 years ago I knew lobstermen around here who were not above taking potshots at other lobstermen who were encroaching on their perceived territory. Bar fights were big too.
Yes, in the U.K., frying pans are used by working class wives for domestic violence. Like they were meant to be?
I never realized until now how much Andy Capp was descended from Punch and Judy.
This has all the makings for a good folk ballad.
Pierre! I am bringing ze boat around! Fire the muffin tins at them!
“If zees battle becomes fierce, we may have to use zee crepe pans!”
Oh, oh. Not just wait for the Chinese fishing fleets to show up.
The Brits also stole the “Sweeney Todd” story from the goings on at an actual Paris barber shop. A French king used to eat at the establishment next to it.
He was not amused when he was told of what was passed off as “meat”.
So they were in French territorial waters? I’m all for Britain getting its fishing grounds back but its hard not to understand where the frogs are coming from if British fishing vessels are fishing in French waters.
I was expecting the map to show the exchange of frying pans happened nearer the British coast. If this one’s correct the French may have had a legitimate beef. Or “boeuf”?
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