I'm being victimised by the French, says Britain scallop war skipper

The British skipper of one of the boats attacked by French trawlermen is facing a £9,000 fine after being accused of illegally fishing a small number of under-sized scallops.

Mark Powell, whose boat the Golden Fleece II was caught up in the so-called ‘Scallop Wars’ last week, claims he is being unfairly targeted by French authorities in order to punish British crews. He was arrested and detained by French authorities who boarded his boat and confiscated his £20,000 catch which they say included €180 (£162) of under-sized scallops.

EU laws intended to protect sea life forbid fishermen from catching scallop under around four inches in length so they can grow large enough to spawn.

Mark Powell, whose boat the Golden Fleece II was caught up in the so-called ‘Scallop Wars’ last week, claims he is being unfairly targeted by French authorities in order to punish British crews

Mark Powell, whose boat the Golden Fleece II was caught up in the so-called ‘Scallop Wars’ last week, claims he is being unfairly targeted by French authorities in order to punish British crews

But Mr Powell, 49, denies catching any under-sized scallops and said the French were simply ‘looking for technicalities all the time to have a go at the British fleet’. He faces a court hearing in two weeks where he could be fined €10,000 (£8,954) if found guilty over the incident in Le Havre last September.

Mr Powell’s boat was involved in a clash with a 40-strong flotilla of French vessels which surrounded them off the coast of

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