Wednesday 27 June 2012
Sea Fisheries has facilitated a positive and productive business and information trip to France for a group of local fishermen
On 20 June 2012, thirteen fishermen from Guernsey and Sark visited the Port of Dielette and met with representatives from the Port of Dielette and the Cherbourg fish auction market (Centre de Maree) followed by a visit to the Search and Rescue Centre on the Cap de La Hague peninsular, (Centre Regional Operational de Surveillance et Sauvatage en Mer, Jobourg).
The visit to the Port of Dielette on board the Fisheries Protection Vessel Leopardess was organised and arranged by the Commerce and Employment Sea Fisheries Section with the main purpose of discussing the options available to Bailiwick Fishermen to land high quality fish into the Port which is approximately 27nm on the adjacent Normandy coast.
Chris Morris, Senior Sea Fisheries Officer Commerce and Employment said:
"The French fish markets are extremely important to the Bailiwick fishing industry and approximately 80% of the Bailiwick's annual catch is landed to the Cherbourg Market. Local fish taken there is then auctioned and sent throughout France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Bailiwick fishermen have traded through this route for many years, but like any other industry fishermen have to adapt to ensure that costs such as fuel are reduced. The Bailiwick fishing industry is not immune to the global changes and many fishermen have had to diversify and change the way they operate. This has meant that many fishermen have downsized their vessels to faster, smaller more fuel efficient boats which means they have the ability of landing high quality fish quickly to Markets such as Cherbourg.
However, until now fishermen have only had the options of landing fish into Cherbourg or St Quay Portrieux. Journeys to these ports can be time consuming, costly and in bad weather, hazardous. Following the establishment of strong links, fishermen will now be able to land fish directly into Dielette without having to steam through the Alderney Race. This will reduce the time, cost, and risks that fishermen take to get their fish to the Market".
Dougal Lane, President of the Guernsey Fisherman's Association agreed saying
"Island fishermen are finding it very difficult financially. Operating a fishing vessel is extremely expensive and this initiative is a very welcome boost to the fishing fleet.
The opening of Dielette will be a big help to many fishermen and could make a big difference to their businesses. The Sea Fisheries Section has made significant progress with developing a good relationship with the French authorities and the fishermen are very grateful for their help.
Marc de le Haye Manager of the Cherbourg auction market met with fishermen on the Quay in Dielette and explained the importance and the need of high quality fish on the French market. He explained to fishermen that fish sold on the market was purchased by supermarkets and businesses throughout France and Europe.
"The demand for fish and shellfish throughout France remains high, the market was very strong and I welcome the opening of Dielette."
His company will provide refrigerated trucks at the quayside to ensure that any fish landed can be delivered quickly to the Market in Cherbourg arriving in pristine condition.
Following a meeting at the Port fishermen then visited the search and rescue centre on the Cap de La Hague peninsula, (Centre Regional Operational de Surveillance et Sauvatage en Mer, Jobourg).
The fishermen were met by the Director of Cross Jobourg, Jean Pascal Devis who gave a presentation of the Centre's work.
The Centre is responsible for ensuring safe passage of ships, Search and Rescue, and Fisheries Control throughout the Western sector of the English Channel and covers the area of sea from Mont Saint Michel to Le Havre.
Guernsey Fishermen Nick Vining said:
"The visit to Cross Jobourg was a fantastic opportunity. The visit not only showed how valuable the Centre is (especially during a search and rescue) but also how much the centre values information and help from fishermen".