Thursday, 20th September 2012
GSD will back ‘sensible Govt proposals to solve mishandled fishing crisis’ - Feetham
Deputy Leader of the Gibraltar Social Democrats Daniel Feetham has stated that the Gibraltar Government’s “badly handled” fishing conflict with the Campo commercial fishermen has led to a deterioration of the conflict.
Noting that Gibraltar has no fishing industry, Mr Feetham urges the Government to reach an agreement “that protects the interests that are important and vital to Gibraltar.”
The GSD he said, would be prepared to support the Gibraltar Government if it brought “sensible proposals to parliament” to solve the dispute.
A GSD statement said: “The
Opposition notes with concern, the manner in which a dispute that was kicked off by an ill advised comment by a Government Minister on Facebook, has now turned into an outright assault on our BGTW and industries unrelated to fishing such as the bunkering industry.
“It is certainly true that there has always been anti-Gibraltar rhetoric from Madrid whatever the political persuasion of the Spanish Government. However, this crisis has led Spanish Ministers to focus much more closely on Gibraltar and, in particular, how they can retaliate and cause Gibraltar damage for the perceived way in which the fishing dispute is being handled.
“That in turn is affecting a much a wider sector of our community and our economy than just the environment. The reality is that this dispute should have never been allowed to get to the stage we are at and needs to be resolved.
“We condemn the Madrid Government for its unjustified attack on this community and its economy but we urge the Gibraltar Government to lance this particular boil once and for all by reaching an agreement that protects interests that are important and vital to Gibraltar.
“We have no fishing industry. What we have is one of the largest bunkering operations in the world and sectors of our economy, such as gaming, which may be adversely affected by this ongoing situation. There are much wider issues than the environment at stake here and the Government can certainly count on our support if it comes to Parliament with sensible proposals to, for example, allow fishing with EU-compliant nets.”