Gibraltar Marinas - Queensway Quay Island Project
The Helping Hand Trust carried out the initial EIA that would be presented to Government in their bid to develop and extended the existing marina known as Queensway Quay Marina. Our charity also advised the developers on several key features that would increase the circulation within the marina basin itself.
The Measures to Improve the Overall Marine Life
Limestone boulders were used on the western outer wall of the island creating a gradual decline to the seabed. This imitates a natural coastline and dramatically increases the surface area for sea life to take hold. This environment has already encouraged the growth of many algae, which have in turn brought in many types of fish and other marine life. We have observed this being used as a nursery for fish.
On the eastside of the island, instead of ground chains - which constantly disturb the life and breeding on the seabed - piles have been introduced to moor boats. This way, boat owners can tie up their vessels, without lifting mooring lines and the chain that went with them from the seabed. The cost to the developer was much greater using this method; in the long term however there will be no need to replace ground chains or mooring lines nor the need to spend money on manpower to carry out the work. The monetary return will nevertheless take quite some time.
The flow of water has been enhanced by opening up the North-West corner of the marina (now the entrance to this marina) whilst maintaining the incoming flow through the South-West opening that was there already. This has ensured a constant flow of nutrient-rich water into, and the clearance of waste-products out of the marina basin. It is now not uncommon to see spider crabs, several species of bream and larger fish such as the eagle ray within the marina itself! Visiting bird such as razor bills, gannets, cormorants and kingfishers have been observed feeding from the waters inside the marina, giving testament to the new richness of marine life found there.
Gibraltar's First Marina Granting Total Protection
The example of the Queensway Quay Marina demonstrates that development in favour of the environment is possible and can be a selling point for the developer at the same time.
The Queensway Quay Marina developer's ultimate statement on this new approach, unsolicited, was to ban fishing within the limits of the overall marina, both within and outside. In doing so it became the first marina or area of waters in Gibraltar to give total blanket protection to life therein.