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Angling Federation backs Tuna Fishing Club after incidents at sea

Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers (GFSA) has said it fully endorses and supports the stand that the Gibraltar Tuna Fishing Club has taken with respect to incidents at sea involving the Guardia Civil and other Spanish law enforcement agencies.

“It is unacceptable that local anglers are being targeted and attacked indiscriminately by the Guardia Civil and other Spanish Law Enforcement Agencies, particularly when they are fishing for tuna within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW),” said a statement from the Association.

“These incidents have been taking place for years and each time that local anglers are harassed and attacked the local enforcement authorities are unable to keep anglers and their vessels safe.”

“Instead after each incident the British Government trots out its usual comments stating that they have made a complaint at the highest level of the Spanish Government about the incursion and that the incursion does not challenge sovereignty over BGTW.”

“But this does not deal adequately with the trauma suffered by local anglers or address the damage to boats and other property caused.”

The Association is calling on the Royal Gibraltar Police and the Royal Navy to protect locals from this kind of “illegal activity” taken by the Spanish agencies within BGTW.

“Is this a precursor to the type of action that Spain will be able to take, under the banner of joint co-operation, once the never-ending negotiations for a GibExit Treaty come to an end and the treaty is signed?” the statement said.

The Association said the situation is now reaching “unprecedented levels”, describing it as “a crisis that will end with a serious ‘danger to life’ incident”.

The Association said some of the actions of the Spanish agencies could have already led to serious injuries being suffered by local anglers.

“Action must be taken now to stop these incursions,” it said.

“GFSA wants to know when it’s members can go out within BGTW and fish legally within BGTW, with licenses issued by the GoG, without fearing attacks from the Spanish Enforcement Agencies.”

“There are many members who do not go out fishing anymore because they fear what may happen if the GC goes for them.”

“Is this how it is going to be going forward?”

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