Fishing quotas dispute disrupts services to port of Calais

P&O Ferries has cancelled all Dover to Calais crossings due to a blockade by French fishing boats.

There has been no official advice for yachtsmen so far.

French fishermen blockaded several ports last summer in 2007 trapping from yachtsmen several countries in port for up to a week.

The P&O website states: This is the update for 09h00 on Wednesday 15th April 09.

The French fishermen have resumed their blockaded of Calais. Dunkerque and Boulogne are also blockaded. Our services are currently suspended.

Day Trip passengers are advised to travel on alternative dates. Please quote your current booking reference.

Operation Stack for freight vehicles will be implemented on the M.20 motorway.

Customers will notice a heightened police presence at the ports and are advised to check-in promptly or a little early to accommodate increased security checks.

For the latest travel updates, please call our dedicated information line on 0871 2002 444

The BBC website:

Fishing fleets have been stopping ships entering or leaving Calais, Boulogne, and Dunkirk, in a dispute over fishing quotas, since Tuesday.

One passenger reported that the French Red Cross was handing out thermal blankets to passengers who were in their cars, and also setting up camp beds and sleeping tents.

The French army had also arrived to deliver food rations, he added.

P&O spokesman Chris Laming said blockades were lifted temporarily overnight, allowing the ferry operator to repatriate 3,000 passengers who were waiting on the quayside.

He said: “We got them all home by about two o’clock this morning, but at six o’clock, eight fishing boats went back into the port of Calais and the whole thing kicked off again.”

Mr Laming said fishing vessels had strung themselves across the entrance to the port, and the blockades operated “on the principle that we dare not run them over”.


Kent Police said part of the M20 was closed again on Wednesday to cope with the disruption.

The force said Operation Stack – in which lorries awaiting Channel crossings park on the coastbound M20 – was lifted overnight but then brought back in.

Police advised cross-Channel passengers to contact travel operators for further details.

French fishing unions have said they are protesting at ever tougher EU-imposed quotas, and demanding the French government take a stand on their behalf or offer more financial assistance.

The EU has said that limiting the size of fishing catches is the best way to stop stocks being wiped out through over-fishing.

Information from P&O said that neither P&O Ferries nor the three other ferry companies operating out of Dover were sailing to Calais on Wednesday, nor were there any services to Boulogne or Dunkirk until further notice.

Long-term travellers were advised to make their way to the port and make alternative arrangements, which could include rail travel.

Day trippers were advised to rebook their journeys.