Scallop wars and French taunts

One of the many contentious issues that will have to be dealt with as part of Brexit negotiations is over shellfishing. Now a row has broken out between French and British fishing boat crews over the rights to scallop fishing.

French fishermen have been accused of throwing insults, stones and smoke bombs at their British rivals in the English Channel in a vicious scrap over scallops.

The clash happened around 12 nautical miles (22km) off the Normandy coast, near the Bay of Seine.

British boats are legally entitled to fish in the scallop-rich area.

But their presence has infuriated the French, who accuse the British of shamelessly depleting shellfish stocks.

The report did not specify the insults the French used but we know from history that they have a formidable arsenal of taunts that the British are no match for. What kind of comeback can you make when someone tells you that your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries?


  1. EigenSprocketUK says

    Sadly, in a few hours I expect these events will be mercilessly exploited for anti-EU sentiment in the British media and by the pro-Brexit pundits: we love to hate the French, and they’re a convenient proxy for the EU.
    Cynical old me is wondering whether the French fisherfolk anger with Brits has been fuelled by exposure on social media to a blizzard of suddenly topical stories about British overfishing and environmental damage, plus stories with promotion of traditional Normandy scallops and their importance to French culture. We should ask Steve Bannon’s mates whose buttons they are currently pushing.

  2. jrkrideau says

    Ah yes, the French have this long tradition of insurrection. The Brits are probably lucky that they are not being held prisoner. Insults, stones and smoke bombs seems pretty tame, overall.

  3. says

    There were amazing oyster wars on the Chesapeake Bay -- its serious business.

    Someone should remind Tucker Carlson that the Chinese are stealing bay oysters, so he feeds the angry cheeto. It’d be funny except for the thermonuclear part.

  4. rjw1 says

    Reminds me of the Cod War with Iceland, which the British lost, btw.
    The EU was invented to protect French primary producers from foreign competition. My money is on the French, particularly when the Brexit circus finally ends.

  5. KG says

    What kind of comeback can you make when someone tells you that your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries?

    Well the traditioinal British (or perhaps English) response is: “Same to you, with brass knobs on!”.

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