GFSA Wants Stricter Fishing Regulations for Non-Residents

he Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers (GFSA) has again asked Government to restrict access to the local coastline for non-resident fishermen to seriously regulate and control shore fishing, the Gibraltar Chronicle wrote today.

According to the Chronicle the GFSA welcomes the publication of the consultation paper on fishing, but is still looking into the matter in order to give elaborate feedback.

A GFSA spokesman was quoted in the Chronicle saying: "Press reports recently have focused on the action that has been taken by the Police to stop illegal fishing activities along Gibraltar's shoreline. GFSA welcomes this action, even though it has been calling for it for years, but is angry that it is its recent campaign, highlighting the abuse of the Gibraltar's shore line by non resident anglers, that has made the Police aware that there are rules and regulations in place that can be used to control and regulate angling, even though these do not go far enough."

"... The fact that of the 55 reported 52 are non resident anglers coming into Gibraltar from Spain to fish here totally vindicates and justifies GFSA's position. The problem is not local, although there are locals that have contravened the regulations ... Federation feels that it is fully justified in continuing to press the Government to restrict access to Gibraltar's coast line by non resident anglers. Numbers must be limited in any proposed legislation if there is to be a serious commitment to regulate and control shore fishing in Gibraltar."

"... Once again the Government is reminded that, if they do not act on this point, the Federation reserves the right to seek and explore other avenues that are open to it to ensure that this demand is met.

Company Gives Details of Dolphinarium Proposal

Europa Point Marine Village Limited (EPMVL) has given further information on its proposal of a dolphinarium to be detailed in its Planning Application, the Gibraltar Chronicle wrote today, adding that EPMVL rejects all criticism of conservationists and locals.

According to the newspaper the plans entail among other features a "walk-through Aquarium Centre" and "a Swim with Dolphins and Sea Lion Interaction Facility". The paper wrote that EPMVL said the statements of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) regarding the suffering of dolphins in captivity are false, and that there was no proof that wild dolphins have a longer and happier life than dolphins in captivity. Yet, the company did not come up with any evidence for these claims. EPMVL was quoted saying "WDCS advertises itself on the Internet as engaging in commercial activity and which openly promotes boating holidays and boating trips. The suggestion by WDCS that Government will be admired by support for what amounts to their uncompetitive behaviour is a sham. The people of Gibraltar are not stupid."

Yet, all these boat trips take place in the wild. EPMVL has omitted the fact that free dolphins have the choice to either interact with the humans on board a safari boat or to ignore them. Once dolphins are forced to live in captivity, humans take over the control over their lives and decide in what activities the dolphins have to engage - at any time of the day.

ONHS: Pro-Dolphinarium Arguments Do Not Hold Up

Our sister charity GONHS has issued a press release both responding to Europa Point Marine Village Limited's (EPMVL) latest arguments in favour of a dolphinarium and to the company's claims as to the integrity of both GONHS and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

In a letter published in several Gibraltar newspapers last week, Europa Point Marine Village (EPMV) Ltd. make an attempt to reply to both to our friends in the well respected Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) and to ourselves. WDCS may wish to publish its own response, so we will deal purely with points that refer to us.

Let us first point out that we have no quarrel with the majority of the facilities EPMV claim to want to set up in Gibraltar, provided these are properly done with the right aims and protocols following extensive local consultation. However, those activities that rely on captive dolphins are unacceptable. Furthermore, as we have already pointed out, there is no need here for a rescue and rehabilitation centre for stranded animals given the very small number that occur in Gibraltar.
EMPV accuses GONHS of ‘presumptuous nonsense ... without any foundation whatsoever’, when we suggest that their facility in Gibraltar would create increased demand for captive dolphins worldwide. Yet they do not offer any evidence whatsoever that we are wrong.

Indeed EPMV constantly fail to address our points, merely repeating weak arguments that we have already refuted with overwhelming scientific evidence. For example, by stating that dolphins live longer in captivity when we have listed extensive scientific work that says they do not. And again, the suggestion that animals are BETTER OFF in captivity to avoid the ‘dangers’ of the wild is ludicrous. It shows EPMV’s lack of knowledge of the way that natural systems work and of the main principles of nature conservation. Let us then take every wild thing into captivity, and live our own lives out in prison in safety from the world around us.

We have made our comments time and again and yet they continue to ignore them. Instead they insult us by trying, with ill-founded sentimental arguments, to appeal to what they must think are the ignorant minds of the Gibraltarian public.

Now they go further with the old trick of promising hundreds of imminent jobs. EPMV is of course free to solicit CVs from prospective employees, but this is premature and presumptuous, when the company has not obtained permission for the proposed dolphinarium, and indeed, Government has even stated that it is not considering the proposal. It is also mischievous. It may give false hopes to unemployed persons who apply in good faith. Moreover, it is likely to be yet another example of EPMV’s scheming as it will no doubt try and use any applications that it gets to put pressure on the planning authorities in favour of their proposals. This would be a despicable abuse of the aspirations of job seekers.

EPMV does not seem to be aware that we have decades of experience and a wide range of qualifications in the fields of ecology and nature conservation and that we are not the amateurs they may have expected to find in our small community. The developers are clearly trying to pull the wool over the eyes of many in Gibraltar, and Gibraltar must show that we have matured beyond those other jurisdictions where similar organisations set up their outdated and degrading acts.

PDP: Public Deserves Statement from Government Regarding Dolphinarium Plans

The PDP has accused the Gibraltar Government of ambiguity regarding its stance on the dolphinarium proposal, the Gibraltar Chronicle wrote today, adding that the PDP is asking both the GSD and the GSLP for a respective statement "which is the least the public deserve".

According to the newspaper, the PDP said that Enterprise Minister, Joe Holliday had stated already in February that the Government considers a formal proposal for a dolphinarium; in June however, the Chief Minister was "quoted saying that 'No negotiations have taken place, let alone been concluded' and 'The Government is not currently considering this proposal'".

The Chronicle wrote, that the PDP stated, they are suspicious that talks between Government officials and Europa Point Marine Village Limited (EPMVL) must have taken place, already "given that it would both need Government consent as landlord and planning consent from the Development and Planning Commission. Assuming such discussions have taken place the Government should state clearly what its position is."

The PDP said, that in the latest press release officials of EPMVL "gave the impression that they thought the project would go ahead".

According to the Chronicle the PDP is also suspicious of EPMVL's suggestion regarding job applications: "In the press release EPMVL suggest that persons wishing to consider employment for any part of these proposals send their CV's to a 'Gmail' account. Whilst it is for EPMVL to incur whatever costs it deems fit during the planning process, it is peculiar for a company to be signalling that it intends to recruit when it has not even got in principle consent from DPC or Government."

The PDP said it would also would know more about EPMVL's credentials: "To date EPMVL have not publicly and specifically disclosed who 'their team' are (other than the name of the owner of the registered company which is in the public domain) or who the developer(s) is/are either."

According to the Chronicle the PDP again has confirmed its rejection of the project, the party was quoted saying: "In any event this project makes no sense at all and Government should categorically tell the developers that it is not supportive of this project. It is unlikely to be commercially viable in the long-term, it will deprive local residents of a popular area, it is out of step with modern trends of animal welfare and makes no sense with the heritage of the area."
Read the original article in the Gibraltar Chronicle: Dolphins Plan a 'White Elephant' Says PDP