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France: Fishing resumes but not all regions comply

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French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, has announced the easing of lockdown restrictions, which includes the resumption of fishing.

Restrictions on fishing in one of Europe’s biggest angling markets have been lifted by the Government, but not all regions are complying with the order.

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, revealed details of the easing of lockdown restrictions, which included the resumption of fishing, last week.  

The move followed pressure exerted on the Government from the Federation Nationale De La Peches En Mer (FNPP) and other organisations, including GIFAP, the representative body of the country’s fishing tackle trade.

GIFAP launched a petition, which was signed by 5,510 people, calling on the Government for greater support for the industry and to declare a state of natural disaster for the beleaguered trade. 

French fishing magazine La Pȇche et les Poissons reports that not all regions are opening their waters to fishing and some are resisting the current lifting of the ban, including Saône-et-Loire and Vendée. 

Lakes and ponds are managed on a case-by-case basis and anglers are advised to check with their angling club or prefecture to avoid incurring a fine of €135.

Anglers are also being urged to respect social distancing and other measure to ensure the wellbeing of others.

The FNPP’s Jean Kiffer said: “The lifting of the current prohibitions and constraints on the entire coast will bring a real breath of fresh air to all users of the sea and all sectors concerned.

“We would like to salute the Prime Minister, the ministers concerned and the crisis unit responsible for implementing the deconfinement measures and listening to the proposals made by the nautical community. Commonsense and a constructive spirit eventually triumphed.”

Sea fishing is now allowed across the entire coastline, including the Mediterranean, Atlantic, English Channel and North Sea. 

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