French fisherman have threatened to attack British boats with ‘heavy artillery’ as the ‘scallop war’ threatens to descend into more chaotic violence.
On Tuesday, British and French fishing boats clashed off the English Channel as a bitter dispute on fishing rights boiled over.
Now it appears that French fisherman are preparing to step up their attacks on British boats after they shared links to websites offering slingshots and ball bearings.
French fisherman have shared links to websites offering slingshots and ball bearings
French fishing officials later accused the British of ‘pillaging’ scallop supplies
French fisherman Pierre Sophie has posted threats on his social media page
Mr Sophie warned the ‘heavy artillery’ would have to come out if British boats kept fishing in the waters
He urged his fellow fisherman to keep watching websites which tracked maritime traffic and if British boats continued heading to the waters to then take action
Pierre Sophie, a French fisherman, has issued public threats warning that the ‘war’ is not over and that boats from Normandy will continue to attack British fisherman.
In a series of angry Facebook posts translated from French, Mr Sophie wrote: ‘Friends Fisherman watch your ais, if he keeps heading down there go back home, war is not over!!!!!’
In another post, he wrote: ‘Will (sic) come back with more boats! We’ll have to get the heavy artillery out!!!’
He also shared footage of the clashes on Tuesday, with the caption ‘bunch of b******’.
French fisherman are monitoring websites which track maritime traffic in order to stop any British boats who legally try to fish for scallops.
Another French fisherman, Steph LF, shared images from maritimetraffic.com, circling British boats which he claims were preparing to fish for scallops in the disputed territory.
He also boasted about his involvement in Tuesday’s altercations, boasting about how ‘the little French frog… ate some f****** British roast beef’.
He also urged buyers via his social media account to boycott products made using British scallops in an attempt to undermine UK businesses.
His rants have picked up some traction as they have been shared dozens of times in separate posts.
The fisherman warned they will continue their actions if an agreement is not reached
Steph LF has shared posts urging buyers to boycott British businesses selling scallops
Footage shows a Scottish trawler boat on fire after flares were reportedly thrown after the latest flare-up in a years-long war over the prized shellfish
The Royal Navy’s Fishery Protection Squadron could be deployed to protect ships, but there would be difficulties without the approval of the French, who are responsible for policing the disputed area off the Normandy coast.
The dispute is over access to fertile scallop beds off the coast of Normandy. Under the European Union’s common fisheries policy, countries retain control of the sea bed up to 12 miles from their coast.
France has banned its fisherman from catching scallops from May 15 to October 1, but that same ban does not apply to vessels from other countries operating outside the 12-mile limit.
There had been an agreement in place which would limit the access of British boats longer than 15 metres in the scallop zone before October 1, although this year talks ended without a deal.
French fisherman are using websites which monitor maritime traffic in order to keep tabs on British boats
During Tuesday’s scuffles, stones and flares were also reportedly thrown and boats were rammed leaving a number of vessels with holes in their hulls and windows as the furious rivals clashed off Seine Bay, according to local reports.
The British were heavily outnumbered at five boats to around 40 French vessels and officials from France were called out to keep the peace in the scallop-rich waters off Normandy.
Another clip also shows one fishing vessel try to ram another, with a smaller boat getting stuck in between them, as rocks are thrown by the French.
French fishing officials later accused the British of ‘pillaging’ scallop supplies.
A fishing boat owner from Brixham said: ‘There were about 40 boats. One boat got petrol bombed, others had windows smashed. I can’t believe that someone wasn’t killed.’