Fishermen protesting in particular against a European plan to restrict bottom fishing symbolically block Sunday evening the main French fishing port, Boulogne-sur-Mer, said the prefecture and the regional fisheries committee.
Seven fishing boats were positioned at the entrance to the port, the prefecture said.
The lockdown is expected to last until Tuesday, according to the committee.
The “action plan” presented a month ago by the European Commission aims to eliminate bottom fishing (trawls, dredges, etc.) in marine protected areas (MPA) by 2030.
"It would be the death of the port of Boulogne"
, declared to AFP the president of the Regional Fisheries Committee of Hauts-de-France, Olivier Leprêtre, stressing that with such a measure, only 20% of the waters of the strait of Pas-de-Calais would remain accessible to fishing.
5000 direct and indirect jobs
Boulogne, with its 85 million euros in turnover in 2022, represents 5,000 direct and indirect jobs, and more than 80% of its production is provided by dredges, trawls, seines and other bottom gear according to Olivier Leprêtre.
"This plan is counterproductive, it risks destroying European fishing and encouraging imports from areas where fishing is not regulated
," he added.
Last week, angry fishermen had already demonstrated in Lorient on Friday and in Rennes on Wednesday, to protest against European regulations, administrative pressure, and the high price of diesel.
Incidents had taken place.
President Emmanuel Macron assured fishermen of his support on this issue at the end of February, when the industry is already facing the costly decarbonization of its fleet.