Spanish fisherman invade Gibraltar

Fabian Picardo
Picardo defended the exclusion zone

Yet another row has erupted between Spain and Gibraltar, this time over Spanish fisherman fishing illegally.

The government of Gibraltar has accused the Spanish fisherman of using illegal nets and fishing techniques within Gibraltarian waters, in breach of the 1991 Nature Protection Act.

Fishing boats were previously authorised to come as close as 225 metres from the shore, under certain restrictions, but the ban is now being enforced within a three-mile radius of the country.

Of course, the Spanish government has complained to the British Embassy and Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, has discussed the issue with the mayor of Algeciras, Jose Ignacio Landaluce.

In response to the Spanish complaints Picardo said they were not picking on Spain.

“Nobody can come here to fish, French, Spaniard, German or otherwise, in breach of our laws,” he said.

Landaluce says the ban breaches the 1991 agreement and to prove his point he joined a flotilla of Spanish fishing vessels in a “protest sail” into Gibraltarian waters

Landaluce says he is protecting the livelihood of hundreds of fisherman in the region.

“I do not understand the attitude being taken by the Gibraltar government,” he said, adding that it “will not be allowed that our fishermen are ejected from the Spanish waters that surround the Rock.”

This makes me laugh. Spain are the only country I have heard of that break the law and then complain when they are punished. If you want to fish do it legally. If you breach the regulations you will be punished. Isn’t that the way it should be?