Friday, 14th September 2012
Gibraltar must protect its marine environment, says GFSA
Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers, the GFSA, has welcomed recent announcement by the Government of Gibraltar that work on regulations to control fishing and other marine leisure activities is at an advanced stage. This has been the main aim of GFSA’s Angling for Change Campaign.
“The realisation that the regulations and controls necessary to protect Gibraltar’s marine environment and to ensure its sustainable use are about to be introduced is the culmination of several year’s hard work.
The Federation says that the focus in recent months has centred on the fishing conflict with the Spanish commercial fishermen, a conflict that “had drawn the debate away from this central aim of GFSA’s campaign. For the Federation the knowledge that the process is back on track is a measure of the importance with which the GoG now views the need to regulate.”
GFSA has been advocating and recommending to this Government that the best way to deal with the conflict is for the GoG to provide the legislative framework that will serve to neutralise and disprove all the accusations made by Spain that the GoG was using environmental arguments to prevent the fishermen of Algeciras and La Linea from fishing in Gibraltar waters.
“This has never been further from the truth. It was a lie used by Spain to turn this into a dispute over ownership of the waters. The fact, as the interim report of the fishing technical working group shows, is that the marine environment is under threat from over fishing. And it follows that Gibraltar must protect its marine environment against all that are currently abusing it,” said a spokesman.
The GFSA added that the Government is now close to meeting in full the 10 Red Lines that it has been campaigning for publically since February 2010 and that were “so roundly dismissed by the previous GSD led administration”.
“GFSA has been working hand in hand with GoG in what has been a very fruitful relationship and looks forward to continuing this co-operation. This contrasts completely with the previous GSD led administration that refused to speak to or consult directly with the internationally recognised governing body for sea angling in Gibraltar. It is sad that in opposition the GSD continues to support and stand by a bankrupt policy on fishing that backs an ‘unsigned’ and illegal agreement that has contributed directly to the current threats that Gibraltar is now facing,” said a GFSA statement
GFSA also issued a call for the Government to stand firm against the aggression and threats being made by the Spanish Government. It also called on the British Government to take decisive action to put a stop to them.
“ How much longer do the people of Gibraltar have to face daily disruption to their lives at the hands of a neighbour that purports to be a modern democracy but ignores all international conventions in its dealings with Gibraltar?”
“The British Government now needs to support Gibraltar more openly in this dispute. Gibraltar has shown restraint in its dealings with the Spanish fishermen. So far no Spanish fishing boat fishing illegally in Gibraltar has been arrested and to GFSA’s knowledge the RGP, GDP and RN are using ‘sensitive’ tactics to contain the dispute so that it does not escalate. It is the Spanish that continue to find ways to press their claim to Gibraltar waters and Britain needs to neutralise the threats made against Gibraltar by Margallo and his Government. This is no longer credible diplomacy. These threats are unprecedented and unacceptable in today’s Europe.”