Fishermen blockade port of Calais

A P&O Ferry entering the Port of Calais
The port is closed, and ferry services have been suspended

Ferry sailings suspended due to protest against electric 'pulse fishing'

Ferry sailings into Calais have been suspended because fishermen have blockaded the French port in protest over their Dutch counterparts' use of electrified fishing nets.

A dozen fishing vessels from Calais and the nearby ports of Boulogne-sur-Mer and Dunkerque are currently anchored in front the pier, an AFP reporter at the scene said. More vessels are expected to join the blockade.

Protesters have said that they expect to maintain the blockade until this evening at least.

P&O and DFDS Seaways have suspended scheduled services, and the port of Calais is closed while the industrial action continues.

A spokeswoman for P&O ferry company said two car ferries were waiting in Dover, while two others were stuck in Calais, while DFDS said it has two ferries in "stand-by" in Dover and one blocked in Calais.

Fishermen have also blocked a road leading to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) southwest of Calais, AFP reported.

Pulse fishing involves dragging electrically-charged lines just above the seafloor that shock marine life into trawling nets. The method has been adopted by Dutch vessels fishing for sole. French fishermen want the practice banned - and their call has gained the support of the European Parliament, which voted in favour of outlawing pulse fishing earlier this month.

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