Angling For Change: Politicians Receive Petition from Campaigners
The Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers, which campaigns for the implementation of laws to protect the marine environment, yesterday visited all political parties to present them with a petition signed by almost 2300 locals, the Gibraltar Chronicle wrote today.
Saving Marine Biodiversity
The GFSA argues that reckless anglers and divers, as well as construction works and shipping have endangered the local marine biodiversity and therefore presented the authorities with "ten red lines" on how to save the marine environment.
"The present situation hurts. They're destroying everything and enough is enough. Everything we grew up with when we were young, even the black crabs that were everywhere. It's all gone," the Chronicle quoted one of the GFSA's spokesmen Bernard Wright, who added that "this goes beyond fishing. It's about looking after what we have."
During talks in May Government had promised to issue a respective consultation paper for laws for a legislation in autumn which should have been made public by the end of June, the Chronicle wrote, adding that it understood that this paper "is being finalised but ... it had not yet been published"
According to the paper the government has agreed on many of the red lines but rejected some of them of being too "close to local politics". Previous to these talks, the GFSA said it felt that 16 years of negotiating with government had been to no avail, so that it had to react with a campaign.
During today's visit to No.6 Convent Place, a representative of the GSD, Gareth Flower, accepted the GSFA's petition in the foyer and promised to deliver it to Chief Minister Peter Caruana, the newspaper wrote.
Opposition leader Joe Bossano received the delegation in the GSLP headquarters. During the following meeting of 30 minutes Mr Bossano encouraged the campaigners and was quoted in the Chronicle saying: "There is nothing there [in the campaign], that we find objectionable. We believe 100% in what they are doing. We hope that the government does respond to this but if it doesn't, we will."
Mr Bossano also drew attention on the underlying controversy over the sovereignty of Gibraltar's waters, -a row that intensified after Europe listed part of it as Spanish protected EU site last year, the Chronicle wrote.
Keith Azopardi, leader of the Progressive Democratic Party, welcomed the representatives of the GFSA in the offices of the law firm, where he works, the Chronicle wrote, adding that Mr Azopardi said he is in support of the GFSA's concerns but disagrees with the GFSA's demand of having a sole consultation status on angling matters.
"If it's not dealt with now, all I can say is, that there will be a manifesto commitment to do it," he was quoted in the newspaper.