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Fishermen’s strike: Cornish ports at a standstill – Quimper

Unusual scene this Tuesday, March 28 in the port of Guilvinec. All the fishing boats are at a standstill, around fifty units in total. The docks are deserted. Same picture at Loctudy and Penmarc’h. This is the consequence of the total shutdown of the sector, voted on Monday March 27 by the fishermen in Guilvinec. The “dead ports” days are scheduled for Thursday 30 and Friday 31 March but as of this Tuesday, it has been decided not to go back to sea.

No movement at Guilvinec where around fifty boats remained at the quay on Tuesday. (The Telegram/Steven Lecornu)

During the night of Monday to Tuesday, several sailors from Guilvinec went to block the port of Loctudy by installing fishing gear across the quays. The movement continues. Other actions are to come, certainly towards Quimper on Friday.

The strike is therefore widely followed even if the profession seems to be divided, particularly on the modes of action. “I would like us to demonstrate at the Kermaria roundabout (Pont-l’Abbé) by distributing leaflets. We have to show up with our raincoats and our boots, ”says Julien Le Brun, who advocates a non-violent movement. The Bigouden shipowner leaves nine coastal vessels at the quay. For Stéphane Pochic in Loctudy, recovery must be quick. “The winter was difficult. I am in solidarity but after Friday, we must not prevent those who wish to go out”, confides the shipowner who is starting the langoustine season.

“We have to unite! »

In Concarneau, all the boats also respected the strike agreement, after the passage of around sixty fishermen, Monday, March 27, at the port and at the auction. “We have to unite! If we release the pressure now, we are dead, ”insists Florian Garrec, a 28-year-old fisherman. Its gillnetter, registered in Concarneau, is currently in the port of Lorient, because “that’s where everything happens”. The one who has been fishing for ten years says he is “disgusted” to read all the accusations made against his profession. “I embark observers several times a year. I play the game of transparency. They can see that I don’t catch any dolphins,” he defends himself.

On the port, a Concarnois fisherman abounds. “They take us for bandits when we respect all the new rules imposed on us. We are controlled all the time and, at the same time, strangled financially by inflation. Aid on diesel, we touched them twice: a year ago, in emergency and in October 2022. Since then, nothing. We have advanced the costs and we are still waiting, ”he explains.

Fishermen's strike: Cornish ports at a standstill - Quimper
“Death of the profession” is inscribed on this mannequin suspended in the port of Guilvinec. (The Telegram/Arnaud Montfort)

The sea professional has agreed to leave his boat at the dock for 85 days, as part of the assisted temporary shutdown, linked to the reduction in the sole quota (AT Sole). The payment of aid, promised for April 2023, should finally take place in June. Within two years, five to six fishing bosses, based in Concarneau, will retire. “They will be hard pressed to be replaced. What young person would go into debt in this context? », asks the fifties who lets go, annoyed, « if we wanted to kill the fishing industry, we would not do it any other way ».

Cap-Sizun fishermen “struggle for their survival”

Staying ashore like their colleagues, the fishermen of Cap-Sizun met on Monday, in the port of Poulgoazec, to discuss regulatory constraints and find levers for action. They wrote to the elected representatives of the sector to ask them for “sincere and unconditional support for their movement to fight for defence, not to say the survival of their profession”. The sailors invite them to meet them on Friday March 31, at 4.30 p.m., on the port to discuss the prospects, and call for a march on Saturday April 1, at 10 a.m., in Audierne.

Symbolic action by fishermen on one of the Poulgoazec beacons, in Plouhinec.
Symbolic action by fishermen on one of the Poulgoazec beacons, in Plouhinec. (Thomas Le Gall)

Not a movement of boats this Tuesday on the port of Rosmeur in Douarnenez. No purse seine or coastal came out following the strike decisions taken at Guilvinec on Monday evening. During the afternoon, the port was finally blocked with ropes, with an “Angry Sailors” banner in the center. The flotilla keeps itself informed of current developments, ready to participate in actions.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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