The Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers (GFSA) has received support: Opposition party PDP issued a press release in the Gibraltar Chronicle stressing that Gibraltar needs laws to protect marine life; the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS) highlighted that it has campaigned for marine protection for decades.
GFSA: Grave Concerns
The GFSA said, it decided to go public with their concerns over marine matters last week after negotiations with Government have remained fruitless for 16 years. The GFSA explained its move with the alarming demise and destruction of marine biodiversity which calls for immediate action. Read the full article on our webpage: Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers (GFSA) Urge For Marine Protection !
PDP: Act Now
The PDP last Friday stated in the Gibraltar Chronicle that the GFSA brought up "serious" issues that "merit urgent attention". To read the article, click here: Regulate Angling and Enforce the Law Now!
Below you can read the full press release of our sister charity GONHS – whose Marine Section Head Dr Eric Shaw is also the Chairman of the Helping Hand Trust:
"The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS) welcomes the statements made recently by the Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers (GFSA).
GONHS has for decades campaigned for the protection of all wildlife in Gibraltar and its territorial waters. It was GONHS, for example, that unmasked the Spanish declaration of a Site of Community Interest (SCI), which overlaps an existing SCI "Southern Waters of Gibraltar" within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.
Back in 1990, GONHS produced the draft that became the Nature Protection Ordinance (now Act) of 1991. After discussion with fishing groups, GONHS was also involved in drafting the corresponding Marine Reserve Regulations of 1995, which have not been enforced to this day. These, which are still in the statute book, contain most of the necessary instruments to effectively enforce marine protection in all of Gibraltar’s waters. The 1999 local fishing “agreement”, which allowed Spanish fishermen to work our waters despite the Act’s provisions, may have sent out a false signal that our marine protection laws were inadequate.
Local anglers, spear-fishermen and others often express their concerns to us about the non-enforcement of existing nature protection laws (the Nature Protection Act) and the need for further regulation of anglers in particular.
Many Spanish anglers and divers visiting Gibraltar, emboldened by the lack of enforcement of our laws and the apparent 'free-for-all' situation regarding our waters, likewise show little regard for our marine environment.
The Society has continued to press the Government, as well as law enforcement agencies, for the Nature Protection Act to be enforced. Because of the failure to enforce Gibraltar law, some local fishermen have taken to committing offences themselves, either by using fishing nets, or by using aqualungs to fish for octopuses or other marine life, including protected species such as spider crabs. The use of aqualungs for fishing is an offence under the Criminal Offences Act.
GONHS takes note of the GFSA's call for the setting up of marine reserves and wishes to reiterate the fact that Gibraltar has had the Marine Nature Reserve Regulations in its legislation since 1995. GONHS would welcome meeting with organisations or individuals interested in the future of Gibraltar's marine life and sustainable and responsible angling and spearfishing."