Why are 2,000 “angry” fishermen expected in Rennes on Wednesday? – Reindeer
In Rennes, the week promises to be particularly busy in terms of social protest. In addition to the mobilizations against the pension reform which should punctuate the coming days, around 2,000 fishermen have planned to demonstrate in the Breton capital on Wednesday March 22 to defend coastal fishing. “The prefecture has authorized a gathering on the Charles-de-Gaulle esplanade at 10 a.m.,” confirms Didier Le Quintrec, Lorient boss of a gillnetter at the origin of the movement.
Artisanal fishermen, fishmongers, oyster farmers… Professionals from “all over the country” are expected in Rennes. In recent weeks, they were already more than a thousand to have met in a Whatsapp group called “Angry Fishermen” to share the growing difficulties they encounter in the exercise of their activity. This time, they decided to express their fed up in the street.
Save French artisanal fishing
“We have been ringing the alarm bell for several years,” laments Didier Le Quintrec. “When you see the disproportionate cost of diesel that is weighing down businesses. We can no longer generate savings at the end of the year. There is also a lot of administrative pressure with the multiplication of controls. Finally, the European Commission is trying to finish us off with its sustainable fishing plan”.
This European Commission plan, which notably plans to ban bottom trawling by 2030 in marine protected areas, is not unanimous. Last week, the Minister of the Sea, Hervé Berville announced his total opposition to a plan which “would condemn French artisanal fishing”.
“All this will be done for the benefit of industrial fishing, for the benefit of non-European trawlers”, denounces Loëtitia Bourcier, a Norman fisherwoman who will come to demonstrate in the Breton capital on Wednesday. “And the problem is that we don’t feel at all defended by our elected officials and fishing representatives”.
A symbolic place
Why did you choose to gather in Rennes? “For the symbolism in relation to the big demonstration of February 1994”, replies Didier Le Quintrec. “29 years ago, in the midst of a fishing crisis, nearly 5,000 angry fishermen landed in the Breton capital. This day, marked by violent clashes between the police and demonstrators, ended dramatically with a fire that devastated the former parliament of Brittany.
“This time, the mobilization will be peaceful,” promises the Lorient gillnet. “We hope to be able to meet the prefect or the Minister of the Sea soon. According to our information, opponents of the pension reform – who notably want to organize roadblocks in the coming days – have planned to join the fishermen’s demonstration in Rennes.
letelegramme Fr Trans