Trawler impounded amid fishing row released by French authorities

The Cornelis Gert Jan left Le Havre on Wednesday after being held there since last week accused of fishing in French waters without a licence.

Trawler impounded amid fishing row released by French authorities PA Media

The British trawler that was impounded by France amid the post-Brexit fishing row has been released by the French authorities and is setting sail from Le Havre.

The Scottish-registered scallop dredger Cornelis Gert Jan left the northern French port on Wednesday evening after being held there since last week, when France accused it of fishing in its waters without a proper licence.

Video showed the blue, white and red trawler departing the quayside after dusk.

The public affairs director of the vessel’s owner Macduff Shellfish confirmed it has been released by French authorities.

“The court (of appeal) determined that no bond was required for the release of the vessel,” Andrew Brown said in a statement to the PA news agency.

He added: “We are pleased to have this matter resolved and delighted that our crew and vessel are now able to return home. The crew have acted with calmness and professionalism throughout the entire incident.

“They are in good spirits, looking forward to return to their loved ones and are grateful for all the messages of support received from the British public.”

The ruling came after the boat’s captain, Jondy Ward, appeared at the Court of Appeal in Rouen earlier on Wednesday.

“If it goes right we’ll get out of here today,” the Irish skipper told reporters after the hearing.

Mr Ward explained that French maritime police detained the trawler last week for not being on a European register when it was fishing off the Normandy coast.

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