20 Aug 2013
Superyachts unaffected by Gibraltar fishing rights dispute
The fishing rights dispute in Gibraltar that has garnered much media attention after a British warship was deployed into the territory this week and six hour long queues reported at border control, has had no impact on the superyacht industry. Businesses with operations in Gibraltar say that superyachts arriving for fuel, or yachts cruising into the Rock, will find 'business as usual':
“We have been supplying many yachts at our installations in Gibraltar without any delays nor repercussions due to the latest series of events between Gibraltarian and Spanish authorities,” read the statement issued by Peninsula Petroleum, the physical bunker and lubricant supplier that services many yachts through Port of Gibraltar.
“Over the last week or so we have received many queries from yacht captains and managers as to any issues they may experience when coming to Gibraltar for fueling. The answer is 'business as usual' and that all yachts planning to come to Gibraltar for fuel may do so without any issues.”
Yachts are also reported to experience no problems cruising into the British Overseas Territory despite a fleet of fishing boats arriving in the western anchorage to protest this past weekend, and the Royal Navy frigate HMS Westminster sailing in shortly after.
“There’s no impact at all, the concrete reef is not in the area where yachts will pass,” said Brian Young, pier master at Marina Bay, Gibraltar.
“Delays coming into Gibraltar are on the frontier itself, it’s not affecting the shipping industry at all. We’ve still got a regular supply of superyachts and sailing yachts at the marina here.”
The tensions between Spain and UK governed Gibraltar – said to be at their worst for 40 years – started in July after Gibraltar installed what it termed was an artificial reef needed to encourage sea life to flourish. Spain, however, claimed Gibraltar had no right to install the concrete blocks in what it has always contested are its territorial waters, and it reacted by introducing more stringent border controls leading to the traffic chaos reported last week.
The latest on the situation as of 9.53am according to the AFP is that Spain has told Britain it must remove 70 concrete blocks dropped into the waters off Gibraltar before it will agree to further political talks.
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