April 16, 2009

French fishermen call off blockade

French fishermen called off a blockade of English Channel ferry ports Thursday after the government said it would release $5 million to support the industry.

Union leader Bruno Dachicourt said the fisherman would continue our movement to show we are mobilized, but we are going to change our type of action.

The French government also said it would provide loans of up to $65.8 million for struggling fishing companies.

The director of communications for the P&O ferry service expressed his dismay over the arrangement, calling it very likely the fishermen would set up a blockade in the future, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.

It's a pattern we've seen repeated before. They simply roll over, he said, referring to the government.

The blockade of Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk was in its third day and had stranded thousands of passengers and truck drivers.

Fishermen were protesting the lack of work, which is restricted through fishing quotas.

I am allowed to fish 10 metric tons a year. If I want, I can fish this quantity in a week, said Boulogne fisherman Patrick Ramet

In short, it's impossible to work, he said.