UK & World News
Scallop War: French 'Pelt' British Fishermen
French fishermen have reportedly pelted British boats with rocks in a row over scallop fishing in the English Channel.
Around 40 French boats surrounded five British vessels in the Baie de Seine, 20 miles off the coast of Le Havre, Normandy.
British crew members claimed some of the boats tried to ram them, and that objects including rocks and flares were thrown during the clash.
The French Navy had to intervene and the row was finally defused after a meeting between the French and the British.
A spokesman for the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), which manages the UK fishing fleet, said: "As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we contacted the French authorities and encouraged them to intervene.
"We are continuing high-level negotiations with our French counterparts to seek assurances that these issues will not recur."
British trawlers are allowed to fish for scallops all year round, whereas fishermen in France have their activities limited during a five-month period ending on October 1.
Monday's stand-off happened on the French side of the English Channel, although an international agreement allows British fishermen access to French waters.
Figures from the MMO show that British fishermen landed 157,000 tons of shellfish, including scallops, in 2011 - a catch valued at £290m.
In total, 83 UK vessels measuring at least 15 metres in length spent almost 10,000 days at sea fishing for scallops in the area where the row erupted.
A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for ensuring safety at sea, said: "The French authorities are continuing to monitor the situation, which we now believe has been resolved."