The anger of coastal fishermen is expressed in Lorient – Brittany
“We have nothing more to lose. No business can survive without fishing for four months of the year. As long as we haven’t been received at the ministry and we don’t have an answer, we will continue the movement. It’s like the retirement movement. They let it rot. We are on the verge of an uprising. We are listened to on nothing. We are going to dismiss the directors of producer organizations and the departmental committee for maritime fisheries”. Since Wednesday, March 22, and the demonstration of fishermen in Rennes, the anger of David Le Quintrec, the spokesperson for the movement of coastal fishermen has only grown.
Blockade of the marina
This Friday, March 24, he took the lead of fifty fishermen from Quiberon (56) and Concarneau (29) to organize a whole series of actions. At 7 a.m., a dozen gillnets, liners and trawlers moored in the basin of the Lorient marina, preventing the boat bus that connects the towns across the harbor to Lorient from docking. After lighting the traditional fires of pallets and tires, the fishermen headed for the fishing port, to “dismiss their representatives” who they believe “do nothing to defend them”. Although they kindly asked the employees of the departmental fisheries committee to leave the premises and close the premises, as long as the boats were at the quay, the tone and the manner were much less cordial, in the premises of the organization of producers (OP), “Pêcheurs de Bretagne”, located a stone’s throw away.
The thirty fishermen tagged the walls, threw smoke bombs in the premises, knocked over furniture, scattered papers, before starting a lively dialogue with the director of the OP Yves Foézon, who did not depart from his calme.
“We want transparency, repeated David Le Quintrec to him. We want to put everything back together. Including on the redistribution of quotas (Editor’s note fishing). You are our representatives. We pay you. On cetaceans (Editor’s note. Accidental catches of dolphins). You could have defended us. Hire lawyers. There are things you can do that you can’t do!
In the sights of NGOs
The reason for this exasperation? An accumulation of regulatory obligations combined with the price of diesel. Fishermen are in the sights of several NGOs, including the very active and media-friendly Sea Shepherd, for the incidental catches of dolphins, in their nets, or trawls. For years, the profession has been working on systems to ward them off. Acoustic repellents, the famous pingers and more recently intelligent underwater cameras, which will be able to detect a dolphin when it enters the trawl, and trigger a hatch to let it escape. This is the “game of trawl” project, on which Ifremer is working, in conjunction with the profession.
However, under pressure from the European Commission, they could be required to install cameras on board ships, as well as a satellite-based ship monitoring system (VMS) which regularly provides data on the position, course and speed of the boat to the fishing authorities. To this was added the decision of the Council of State, which orders the government to close fishing in certain areas of the Bay of Biscay.
“A real injustice”
“We are living a real injustice, lamented this Friday, Laurent Tréguier, boss of the Côte d’Ambre. We have been making great efforts for years for good management of the resource. There are more and more dolphins. We do everything to avoid them. We are accused of accidental mortality. But that’s peanuts on the number of dolphins. Whatever we do, we are responsible. But there is no scientific report that dolphin mortality is increasing.”
Fishing boats must remain moored at the marina of Lorient and fishermen continue their actions. Perhaps in Rennes, where a gathering of L214 and Sea Shepherd is scheduled for Saturday. As a preventive measure, the prefect of Ille-et-Vilaine published a ban on demonstrations in Rennes this Saturday, March 25.
letelegramme Fr Trans