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Fishing Boats Aim to Disrupt Sea Traffic

December 11, 2002

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BOULOGNE-SUR-MER, France (AP) _ A fleet of some 80 fishing boats left this northern French port early Wednesday to delay maritime traffic in a protest against fishing quotas imposed by the European Union, union officials said.

Fishermen from Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark were among those who set sail to clog the waterways of the Pas-de-Calais, one of Europe’s busiest shipping lanes, unions said.

Blockades are planned Wednesday of the ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Boulougne-sur-Mer.

Fishermen are angry over the EU’s decision to impose sharp reductions on catches of certain fish such as cod because of evidence of declining stocks.

``We are here to show our force and defend our business,″ said Jacques Bigot, of the CFTC fishing union.

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