31 Jul, 2013 @ 11:29
1 min read

Concrete trucks stopped by Spanish at Gibraltar border

ACCORDING to Gibraltar government officials, Spain has now prohibited trucks carrying concrete from entering Gibraltar.

This is just one more bump in the recent argument between Gibraltar and Spain, which began a few days ago when Spanish fisherman complained to the Guardia Civil about an artificial reef being built near the rock near where they were working.

The statement did not say whether incoming concrete is intended for continued construction.

Though Gibraltar maintains that the artificial reef serves to protect marine biodiversity, Spanish environmental protection officials claim that construction is harmful to wildlife all the way down the coast.


  1. Funny how Spain fails to mention all this….

    Spain is a leading exponent of the deployment and use of artificial reefs in Europe. Spain is also the premier consumer of fish within the European Union. These two facts are not unrelated. Demand for fish is high: the average annual Spanish fish consumption in 1994 was 30 kg per person (MAPA, 1995). In recent years the tightening of international fishing regulations has restricted the activity of the Spanish‘distant water’fishing fleet while there has been conflict within the domestic fleet, each element competing for fish from the same fishing grounds but using different gear. To mitigate these problems the Spanish government has promoted a policy of deploying artificial reefs since 1987 (SGPM, 1987,1991; Fig. 1) with the support of public funds from the European Union and from national and regional Spanish budgets.

    Position and monitoring of anti-trawling reefs in the Cape of Trafalgar (Gulf of Cadiz, SW Spain)

    Illegal trawling was perceived in protected areas of the Gulf of Cadiz (southwest of Spain). A method of studying the nature of the seabed and identifying the paths taken by the illegal trawl ships is hereby described. So, the shape and minimum number of indispensable barriers necessary to guarantee an inoperative status for these illegal trawling vessel are defined. A new type of artificial reef is presented which is both more efficient and cost effective in terms of its construction and installation. This model has been under experimentation in the area of Cape Trafalgar, where 610 units, grouped in 11 barriers were deployed. Side-scan sonar has been used over 1.5 yrs to test the status of these barriers after their implementation. The final results of this experiment indicate that, after the first 6 mo, all illegal trawling activity had disappeared. Although the displacement of some reefs was established, these movements were not enough to reopen new trawling paths. Nevertheless, in spite of these good results, the damage to the benthic diversity is not yet resolved.

  2. I love the Spanish, spend time there and employ people there, but here’s something I do not understand. Why all the heat on Gibraltar, when Spain holds Ceuta and Melilla. It makes no sense to me. What argument is there about the Rock which doesn’t apply, against Spain, with Ceuta and Melilla. Answers, englightenment, appreciated. Thanks.

  3. @Roping, its all a distraction.
    Gib employs thousands of spaniards, and has the investments (money) of thousands more. If there was any real danger of spain getting its hands on Gib, the popular spanish voice would be against it.

    What all this fuss does is distract people, especially the hotheaded, the 5min attention span, the nationialists, and their ilk. Spain has stolen a billion euros from the eu. (yes a billion!) Each government has allowed and participated in massive corruption and mismanagement. The country is ruined and raped, again. If not for the euro, it would be obvious – high inflation, devaluation, package holidays, and foreigners buying cheap property. So rather than deal with a flawed culture, the powers that be cause problems with their neighbours.


  4. @Jonny
    Not so sure that this one will blow over. The Spanish fishermen want a showdown, the Guardia Civil want it and Rajoy is desperate for anything that will distract the populace (as long as possible) from his bribery scandal and the countries dire economic problems.

    Seems to me that the next step will be a demonstration or a blockade by the fishermen, closely followed by a number of these boats being arrested.

    The Royal Navy arrived in Gibraltar this morning (HMS Ledbury) and more are on the way. Expect this story to grow.

  5. They should do something about it before things get out of hand. Hoping for the best. Whatever the decision may be, this should be fair and better for the environment.

  6. jonny and nigel ‘captn’ smith – you both fail to see the realithy behind this situation and have clearly both been affected by the refinery ‘gases’ for too long. this situation has been caused by the gib govt, which has now sparked off the biggest retreat by tax avoiders living in sotogrande for years as the spanish tax authorities target this and other gib workers who prefer to live in spain. if the gib govt had not been so stupid as to try and build a reef then none of this would have happened. Just wait for the exudus as the gaming companies leave due to the Uk gaming tax and now that their employees dont feel safe leaving in spain, as well as the fact that no one who does not come from gib wishes to live in a place with constant power cuts, polution, cancer rates one of the highest in europe etc.

  7. I tried posting the following comment in Spanish to Europa Sur and ,not only has it not been posted, my access is blocked. I know conspiracy theories are popular but I wonder?
    Mr Garcia Margallo has just announced rather extreme measures against Gibraltar, details of which you can read about in the Spanish press. I sent the following.
    “These will come to nothing as I am sure the Gibraltar Government will compile a list of all the Spanish politicians who have a bank account in Gibraltar. Although procured legally on the Rock, they would be avoiding paying tax in their own country. I am sure the list will be forwarded to the relevant parties but will never be published as I suspect it could lead to the end of the present government.” Speculation of course!

  8. Vladamir,

    The reef that you comment on is in Gib territorial waters and has nothing to do with Spain, your point is irrelevant.

    As for your comment that nobody wants to live here… Wrong again, I do! I moved from Spain to here and wish I’d done it years ago. Sure it has it’s problems but overall, a much more stable and pleasant place to live without the ’emotional’ Spanish element.

  9. Ref Vladimir
    1. His first is definitely Russian
    2. Now, Nabokov. Navo in Spain means turnip. It is also slang for the male member.
    I think he shouldn’t be taken seriously!

  10. I’m sure everyone is aware that Vladimir Nabokov was the author that wrote Lolita. So this poster is just assuming this identity and is very likely not Russian at all.

    His comments are deliberately inflammatory and totally false. The majority of Ex-pats have been leaving Spain because of the onerous taxation on any investments held by these retirees.

    However, this current dispute is not connected to Ex-pats or the taxation of people who work on the Rock. People who consider the Rock their domicile have a right to be taxed in Gibraltar and that precludes them from being taxed again by Spain.

    This dispute is a diversion for the Madrid Government to divert attention away from the bribery scandal and Spain’s dire economic problems.

    The latest statements by the Spanish Foreign Minister will only make it worse for Spain, because now the EU Commission has to intervene on Britain’s side. Spain cannot impose a tax for entry as this goes against the Freedom of Movement. Likewise they cannot restrict airspace, as this would go against treaties that Spain has already signed. The ultimate sanction is that the EU would have to withhold any financial assistance to Spain (as would the UK) until Spain promises to behave like an adult.

    As for the reef, the fact is that Spain has created similar reefs around their own coastline. They are the biggest user of such artificial reefs. In truth, the fisherman who was illegally fishing in Gibraltar waters was doing so with under-size nets, which would not be allowed even in Spanish waters. This dispute is about territorial rights and Madrid is using it as a diversion. If the threats of a blockade are made real, then the fishing boats participating may be arrested, their boats seized and the fishermen imprisoned.

    This dispute will only get worse for Spain, the longer they continue it.

  11. Gibraltar hasn’t any rights about the sea, and that is the point.
    Gibraltar has throught concrete in order to avoid fishing next to a coast that doesn’t belong to them.

  12. >CBB

    No you are wrong. Spain signed the United Nations Conventions on the Law Of The Sea (UNCLOS) which gave all countries the right to claim territorial waters out to 12 miles. Spain tried to make Gibraltar an exception by making a Declaration, but it was pointed out to them that Article 310 of the Treaty does not allow any exceptions. This means that Gibraltar owns the waters out to the median point of Gibraltar Bay. This includes the area where the artificial reef is located. Gibraltar only claims out to 3 miles on the Eastern side of the Rock, even though they are entitled to claim 12 miles. Spain claims 12 miles from their own coastline and the area around Ceuta and Melilla, but they cannot deny that Gibraltar owns the territorial waters around the Rock.

    Spain refuses to take the matter of the territorial waters to the International Court. Spain’s top law officer admitted years ago that Spain does not have a legitimate claim, because the UNCLOS treaty stipulates very clearly that there cannot be any exceptions. If Spain did not want to sign UNCLOS, that was up to them, but if they refused, then Spanish ships would not have right of passage anywhere else in the world and Spanish fishing trawlers would be restricted to Spanish waters.

    Spain often states that the Treaty of Utrecht does not mention any waters, but it does not mention them for Spain either. Furthermore, whilst Article X of the Treaty gave Gibraltar to Great Britain FOREVER, in Article XI, it also gave the island of Menorca to Great Britain FOREVER. So if Spain was so stupid as to apply the Treaty of Utrecht down to the letter, then they would have to hand back Menorca to Britain and Menorca is far larger than Gibraltar.

    There is no way that Spain can complain about the reefs. You can see the hypocrisy in these two articles in a Spanish website on reefs. On one page they praise the artificial reefs used to conserve and protect the fish stocks.


    Yet on the very next article they condemn the Gibraltar’s reefs.


    You can see that Spain cannot get their story right. They seem to think that Spanish reefs are perfectly OK, but British ones are not – even though the British reef is within Gibraltar waters and composed of less concrete blocks than the Spanish reefs.

    Even Greenpeace agrees that Gibraltar is right about the reefs:


  13. @Jane

    The only problem with Menorca was that we ceded it back to Spain in the Treaty of Paris 1763 and the Treaty of Amiens 1802, when relations were restored at the end of the French Revolution.

    The point is that Spanish historians have already stated that even though the Treaty of Utrecht does not mention the waters, none of the treaties at the time mention waters, but it was implicit that they included them anyway.

    You might want to read this article by Jesús Verdú, profesor de Derecho Internacional de la Universidad de Cádiz (UCA).

    That’s Jesús Verdú, Professor of International Law at the University of Cadiz.


    Strict application of Utrecht would bring up the matter of Menorca again and that would imperil Menorca, despite Paris and Amiens.

  14. @Nigel Smith, it seems, for Spain at least, that subsequent treaties are irrelevant when it comes to Utrecht, and that’s the cherry-picked bits of Utrecht Spain wants enforced…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cruise ship in Malaga
Previous Story

Sunday shopping for cruise passengers in Malaga

train crash
Next Story

UPDATE: Train driver on phone at time of deadly crash

Latest from Gibraltar

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press