ON the face of it, Spanish plans to create a conservation zone in the waters around Gibraltar should be supported – were it not for the thinly-veiled politics surrounding the scheme.
The idea of ship-refuelling (bunkering) being banned off the Rock has undoubted environmental benefits but it is debatable how much difference it would make.
While small-scale spillages do occur from time to time, great efforts have been made by the Gibraltar authorities to reduce the environmental risk.
The economic damage that a ban on bunkering would cause to Gibraltar arguably far outweighs the environmental benefits of scrapping the process.
With Spain also undertaking bunkering nearby, it seems apparent that Spain’s motives for cleaning up the waters are not actually as clean as it would have us believe.