The fishermen’s union said the main aim was to disrupt ferry services and freight transporters in French waters, and not British fishermen.
Olivier Leprêtre, head of the Hauts-de-France fishing council, said: “Britain wants to get access to the European market? They should give us the licences. If not, we will cut their access.”
Gerard Romiti, head of the national fisheries committee, said: “We don’t want handouts, we just want our licences back.
“The UK must abide by the post-Brexit deal. Too many fishermen are still in the dark. We have been waiting with bated breath for 11 months. The patience of professionals has limits. We hope this warning shot will be heard.”
Downing Street has expressed its disappointment with the protest, and government officials are working with hauliers to maintain traffic flows between Dover and Calais.
A Government spokeswoman said: “We are closely monitoring the actions of French fishermen and look to the French authorities to ensure that the free flow of traffic and trade is not disrupted.
“We are also working closely with the affected transport companies and local partners in Kent to provide the necessary support.”