Thursday 11 June 2020
Guernsey Ports has been working with our local fishing community to keep their business afloat in these challenging times.
So far, a total of 25 applications have been approved, allowing local fishing boats from Guernsey and Alderney to land their catch to destinations in the UK, France and Jersey, without the need for self-isolation on their return to the Bailiwick. The reason they don't have to self-isolate is that they do not leave their vessels or have any physical contact with those ashore.
Travel restrictions have been introduced as a key measure in protecting the community from COVID-19 and central to this is the legal requirement for those entering the Bailiwick to self-isolate for 14 days. However, for critical services to be able to continue in the Islands, a small number of exceptions are permitted on a case-by-case basis. In each of these, a specific application must be made and approved in line with guidance from the Director of Public Health. In these cases, individuals must still adhere to certain restrictions.
The exceptions granted for fishing crews, approved by Guernsey Ports in consultation with Public Health, have all been assessed individually in this way. In each case, safety measures have been agreed. Wet fish and shellfish have been landed on to the quay, onto other vessels or offshore store cages, without the need for crew to step ashore, or have direct contact with the recipients. Equipment used for craning catches off the vessel to shore is thoroughly cleaned.
These measures are not dissimilar from some of the new practices used by on-island ports staff who receive supplies without coming into direct contact with the crews of supply ships when deliveries are made.
Consistent quality means that demand for our fish, crab and lobster remains high, and a number of such trips have been conducted successfully, allowing local fishermen to reach a wider and more profitable market for their catch without directly interacting with anyone from outside of the Bailiwick.