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British scallop trawler finally released after being held by French for a week

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The British scallop trawler impounded by France has finally set sail from Le Havre.

The Cornelis Gert Jan was released by the French authorities after a week.

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Its skipper was accused of fishing in French waters without a proper licence.

Andrew Brown, speaking for the vessel’s owners Macduff Shellfish, said:

“The court (of appeal) determined that no bond was required for the release of the vessel.

“We are pleased to have this matter resolved and delighted that our crew and vessel are now able to return home.

“The crew have acted with calmness and professionalism throughout the entire incident.

“They are in good spirits, looking forward to return to their loved ones and are grateful for all the messages of support received from the British public.”

Jondy Ward, the trawler’s captain, said:

“We had everything in order on the bridge, as far as I was concerned, we had everything in place to be legal

Ward’s lawyer Mathieu Croix, said:

“We’re clearly caught in a political game as there is a whole story spun around this entire case, whereas in fact it is a rather mundane affair over fishing in an area that is supposedly out of bounds, and about licences that may or may not have been given and catch amounts that are relatively modest.

“From then on, given the current political climate, the case blew up to levels that in our view are totally disproportionate.”

 

 

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