Scottish fishing boat attacked
Vertrouwen. Credit: Trawler Photos
A Scottish shellfish supplier has told how one of his vessels was attacked by French fishermen, reports John Kinsman.
Dumfrires-based Scott Trawlers owner Andy Scott said the crew of the scallop fishing trawler Vertrouwen feared for their safety during the attack.
Mr Scott said the trawler was attacked in the Bay de Seine where it was permitted to fish.
He said three French fishermen boarded his trawler but the skipper had been able to satisfy them that he was legally entitled to fish there.
Mr Scott said he was looking for UK Navy support after the incident on 8 October, which reportedly involved a number of UK boats.
"About seven boats came into very close quarters with the Vertrouwen and tried to stop it," he said. "It tried to continue fishing at which time the French boats started to attack with catapults, stones and nuts and bolts. The crew feared for their safety, they feared that wheelhouse windows were going to be broken."
Mr Scott said the number of French boats then increased to about 30 and tried to throw ropes and nets to snare the propeller of the Vertrouwen. Mr Scott sent another of his own trawlers and another Scottish trawler to lend support to the trawler.
At that time three French fishermen boarded the Vertrouwen and spoke to its skipper.
"He was able to satisfy them that he was legally entitled to fish there" said Mr Scott.
The Marine Management Organisation said the Vertrouwen was one of a number of UK trawlers in the area at the time.
A spokesman said, "As soon as we were made aware the situation we contacted the French authorities and encouraged them to intervene. They did and are continuing to deal with this matter.
"We are continuing high-level negotiations with our French counterparts to seek assurances that these issues will not recur."
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