Celtic League - French TV documentary on submarine - fishing vessel losses
CelticNews | June 6, 2008 at 03:03 amby
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The French State Regional broadcaster, France 3, is planning to make
a documentary about the mysterious sinking and snagging of motor fishing
vessels (MFVs) by submarines over the past several decades.
Researchers from France 3 have been in touch with the Celtic League
which gathered information for two decades on the issue and also campaigned
for action by National governments of those states which operate submarines
and also the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The League documented a series of incidents and sinkings over the
period from 1970 - 1995 at which time it scaled down its monitoring
of the issue following a reduction in the number of incidents due
to the end of the Cold War. The campaign led directly to action by
the IMO to address the problem and also led several navies including
the Royal Navy to adopt new operational procedures.
The issue attracted enormous media attention at the time and was also
vigorously aired in the UK parliament and also the Irish Dail. In
one Dail debate a member of the governing Fianna Fail Party, later
to become a Minister for the Marine, suggested that over one hundred
fishermen may have perished in such incidents.
The problem has been given new prominence following the sinking of
the Breton MFV, Bugaled Breizh, which foundered suddenly in January
2004 with the loss of all five crew members on board. A major NATO
exercise was underway at the time and there have been accusations
that the vessel was towed under by one of a number of British, French,
Dutch or German submarines in the area at the time.
The issue has created a huge public reaction in Brittany. However,
it is not the first time Breton vessels have been at the centre of
such controversy. One of the most significant losses of life which
occurred during the Cold War period was the loss of the Breton trawler
Cite D'Aleth off Wexford in 1983, 10 crew members perished.
Ref (several items - speculative - YouTube):
The Submarine/MFV monitoring was part of a wide-ranging study of the
impact of military activity on the Celtic countries coordinated via
the Isle of Man (Mannin) branch of the League over several decades
from the 1970s. Most of the comprehensive information the Celtic League
gathered during this period is lodged in the Manx National Heritage
Library for open access to researchers (Additional material is also
archived at the National Library for Wales). Just last year an American
and US researcher visited the Island to examine the material and in
December 2001 a researcher compiling a report for the Japanese government
also utilised the files whilst preparing a report for the Japanese
It is hoped that the France 3 documentary will be filmed next month
in Brittany, Ireland and also Mannin.
Related articles on Celtic News at:
Older Celtic News archive about military exercise safety campaign
by Celtic League here:
J B Moffatt
Director of Information
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609
Internet site at:
Dave KeatingThese members have powered this story: