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French court frees impounded UK trawler

A French court has ruled that a British trawler impounded by French authorities could sail for home, overturning an earlier demand that its captain pay a 150,000 euro ($A233,984) deposit, a lawyer for the captain says.

The Cornelis Gert Jan was seized last week, with French authorities saying it had been caught fishing for scallops in French territorial waters without a proper licence.

The lawyer for the Irish captain, Jondy Ward, said earlier the vessel was a pawn in a wider political row between France and the United Kingdom over fishing rights after the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Ship tracking website marinetraffic.com showed the vessel was still moored in the French port of Le Havre, where it was impounded.

Its declared destination was listed on the site as “FREEDOMMMM”.

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