Spanish Commercial fishing vessels are netting and raking in Gibraltar territorial waters with impunity says the GSD. In recent months, it has become clear that the previous commitment given by the Government to stop all illegal commercial fishing by Spanish vessels in our waters is a thing of the past as incursions are happening on a daily basis whilst relevant authorities do nothing.

The GSD does not understand how the Government can spend vast amounts of the taxpayers’ monies on new vessels and employees to enforce marine regulations and then use those resources to primarily target local tuna and sport anglers.

Trevor Hammond, GSD Environment spokesman said “It needs to be highlighted that before getting into office this Government made incursions by Spanish commercial fishing vessels a cause celebre, they declared that it was unacceptable and that they would put a stop to it. An extract from the 2011 GSLP manifesto reads as follows, “we do not believe it is right to allow illegal fishing in our waters” and “we will ensure that the ban on the use of drift nets and other nets is enforced without political interference.

“We had protracted negotiations, which resulted in the Government commissioned 2012 Fishing Report in which the very first recommendation was that there should be no commercial fishing within our territorial waters. While this has never been the case, there had been a reduction in the activity, which is now once again rising significantly. Commercial fishing in our waters is against the law, the Government must act to put a stop to this.

“Why should local sports fishermen be expected to comply with legislation and even forced to acquire fishing licences when activity which causes far more significant environmental damage is being ignored? This is neither reasonable nor fair.

“I call on Government to explain why they are not acting against these illegal incursions, has their policy changed and have they entered into any kind of agreement which allows commercial fishermen access to our waters?”