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Watch: French and British fishermen clash in battle over scallops

Collisions, flares and rocks in conflict off Normandy coast

Video: Reuters

Vessels ramming into each other; flares and rocks hurled.

The trigger? Scallops.

The French were furious when two boats from the UK began fishing near the Normandy coast, in international waters. 

"French fishermen have quotas, we have permitted hours. The British don't have anything: they don't have quotas, it's seven days a week for them. They fill up. They come, they dredge, they fill up the hold and then they go home.

British boats can legally gather scallops all year round, but French law only allows scallop fishing - for its own fishermen - between October and May.

The French have for years said this puts them at a disadvantage, in what they consider home waters.

These fishermen decided to take matters into their own hands.

No injuries were reported - but three boats have been reportedly damaged.

Ultimately the Brits were outnumbered 40 boats to just two, but the French fishermen are calling on a change of legislation:

"It was worth it in the end because they've gone. They've gone further than 20 nautical miles. As my colleagues said we've won the battle but we haven't won the war."

Vessels collide at sea. Photo: ReutersVessels collide at sea. Photo: Reuters

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