Around 150 French fishermen on Thursday night blocked trucks carrying fish from U.K. waters from entering Europe’s largest seafood processing center in the northern town of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Reuters reports. Protesters were angered by their difficulties in obtaining licenses that would allow them to fish in British waters.
The new regulations came into force at the beginning of the year as part of Britain’s Brexit deal with the EU, but the conditions set for qualifying for a license have proven difficult for many to meet. Fishermen must show that they have been fishing in U.K. waters from 2012 to 2016 using GPS data. 22 out of 120 boats local to Boulogne-sur-Mer have received a permit since January, according to France Bleu.
“You want to keep your waters??? OK … So, keep your fish!!!” read a sign set up by the protesters as their barricade at the port stopped two trucks.
The French government has appealed to the European Commission for help in resolving the situation. The British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has described the protest as “unjustified” and said they had spoken to French authorities.
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