The GSD has stated that it continues to receive concerns and complaints from local anglers who feel that they are “being hard done by”.
This is “while Spanish Commercial fishing vessels continue to fish with impunity in Gibraltar waters, often in plain sight of the authorities who take no action, local anglers comply with all legislation which often entails specific bans on species such as octopus and tuna and should they fail to do so, they face fines,” said a statement from the GSD.
The Opposition stress that the local anglers have no objection to this provided the rules are applied to all and not just locals.
Trevor Hammond, GSD environment spokesman said: “I am receiving reports and pictures daily of the clear breaches in our laws in broad daylight by Spanish Commercial fishing boats.”
“It was this government in their 2011 manifesto who said that they ‘do not believe it is right to allow illegal fishing in our waters and that they would stop this immediately’. They said that they would enforce the ban on the use of the drift nets, they have done nothing of the sort.”
Mr Hammond added that while local angler endure and are happy to endure the enforcement as it has a positive impact on fish stocks, “their patience has been exhausted by the unfair application of the rules which target them but ignore the far greater environmental damage caused by Spanish net fishing.”
“It is completely unfair and time for the Government to admit that despite their tough rhetoric on fishing and the environment, their policy has failed dismally,” he added.