25 Jan, 2014 @ 06:30
1 min read

Toxic waste being released in Gibraltar waters


A BANNED process to scrub ship hulls to increase speed is adding toxic cocktails to the waters off Gibraltar, threatening sensitive marine life.

The procedure – which is banned in most European ports – involves the mechanical scrubbing of the hulls to remove fouling and increase the vessel’s speed.

Research shows that more than a ton of toxic anti-fouling paint is removed during cleaning.

This toxic material – including heavy metals and herbicides banned for use on land – is released into the water threatening marine life.

‘Fouling’, the growth of marine slime, weeds and barnacles on hulls, can increase fuel bills for ship-owners by as much as 20% – or as much as € 20,000 more per day.


Cleaning should be confined to dry docks, where toxic waste can be carefully disposed of, but Gibraltar and Algeciras are among a very small number of European ports where it can be done in the water.

An estimated four large ships are cleaned every day by diving companies operating out of the two ports.

Scrubbing a large hull removes up to two tons of anti-fouling paint, of which about half is made up of toxic biocides.

Anti-fouling paints usually contain more than 30% of copper compounds, and in some cases up to 10% of powerful herbicides such as Diuron.

These compounds persist for long periods in the sediment of the bay.

Figures for the levels of Copper, Zinc and Diuron are supposed to be monitored under EU Directives, but figures for the bay area are not currently available.

Marine ecologists are concerned about the effects of the pollutants. Besides copper and zinc, ‘boosters’ included in anti-fouling paint make it even more toxic.

Marine ecologist Dr Simon Bray, said:: “Heavy metals such as copper and zinc from ship anti-fouling coatings can accumulate to toxic levels in fine sediment.

“Research has shown that there can be long term “reservoirs” of such material which can be released through physical disturbance such as dredging.

“Sensitive species and communities may be affected..”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact [email protected]


  1. Not doubting the impartiality of the newspaper but headlines should read Gibraltar AND Algeciras as it says in the body of the news item. Also, which are the other ports in the European Union using these cleaning methods? Would be interesting to know. It might be that they are all or mostly all doing it. Let’s point them all out, not just the one.

  2. Underwater cleaning is banned in almost all other ports in the EU as well as most of the USA and elsewhere. Within Europe there are very few ports which allow it. These include Malta and Piraeus, and possibly some ports in Turkey. The practice violates EU directives on Waste, Water Quality and the Marine Environment.
    Some ports, including Rotterdam, have so much toxic waste material in their sediment that they dare not dredge some channels for fear of stirring it all back up into the water. Similarly Gibraltar has problems with toxic biocides from older ship hull coatings containing tin. The current generation of coatings contain other biocides which persist for many years.

  3. OK Mike, so its Malta, Greece, Turkey, Holland, Spain Gibraltar…and????? With the current climate it would be a good thing, as well as fair to name them all. If the EU law on this one are being broken then by all means it should be stopped, but pinpointing one just ain’t Cricket.

    And no, PickledHerring, the reef, or concrete blocks like you call them are nowhere near. Might be an idea to take samples of the nickel sediments on the other side of the Bay as well, plus the waste products of the paper factory that went into the Bay as well.

    Anyway for the good of all lets all clean up our acts.

  4. As much fouling pollution comes from Spanish ports as from Gibraltar. Most of the material is the anti-fouling paint that’s applied to ship’s hulls which regularly has to be renewed or the fouling becomes a serious drag on the ship’s propulsion wasting a great deal of fuel.

    More to the point, why is Olivepress putting a picture of a British nuclear submarine on the heading of their article?

    The Trafalgar class SSN shown has a layer of rubber tiles attached to a pre-treated hull. These are there for more than one reason.

    Not only do they reduce the noise signature of the submarine, making it harder to detect, but they provide a lower coefficient of resistance to the water (smoother surface), giving less drag and increasing overall speed.

    Finally and more relevant to the story, they prevent a lot of fouling because they do not provide an adequate purchase for fouling to adhere. A layer of algae does build up, but it can easily be scrubbed off with broom or scrubbing brush.

    The anti-fouling on the submarine hull does not need replacement until the boat is due for a refit. Then all the tiles are removed, the hull inspected and cleaned, then repainted and re-tiled. This all takes place at Barrow in Great Britain.

    Nuclear submarines do not need anything more than a mild wash to remove algae when they are in port. Far more pollution comes from the ships in dry-dock or in Algeciras.

  5. Nowhere near, It ain’t Cricket ? Nowhere near ?

    Toxic waste is being dumped in Gibraltar waters. The shellfish reserve is being built in disputed Spanish-Gibraltar waters. Gibraltar’s waters aren’t that big ! How can they not be that near ?

    Why wasn’t the toxicity of the water picked up in the marine studies hopefully carried out before embarking on this contentious and environmentally ludicrous dumping of concrete blocks to create a shellfish reserve ?

    It’s an absolute farce !

  6. If you condemn the dropping of concrete blocks, then what is Spain going to do about the thousands of concrete blocks that they’ve dropped around their coastline?

    Simple case of pot calling kettle black. You cannot criticise the Gibraltar reef without condemning Spain’s reefs too.

  7. It’s WHERE the concrete blocks have been dumped, Nigel.

    You don’t dump them in toxic waters to create a shellfish reserve – you put them in open clean waters where studies show marine life can flourish, as the Spanish have done with their concrete blocks.

  8. Those concrete blocks dropped in STW ( Spanish Territorial Waters) have sparked the right reaction from the Spanish Government. I just hope Spain keeps its course of this issue.

  9. @PickledHerring

    Spanish concrete blocks have been dumped IN the bay and IN the pollution coming from the Spanish industry.

    Marine life is flourishing on the Gibraltar reef. It was NOT flourishing when the Spanish fishermen were raking the seabed. Quite the opposite, because they were damaging the seabed as shown by the aerial photos of the area.

    Spain cannot complain about concrete reefs preventing fishing when they use them themselves for the same purpose.

  10. @Ciudadanos

    The Gibraltar reef is in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, not Spanish waters.

    The Spanish Foreign Minister has been forced to concede this point due to the maps provided by the United Nations.

    An up-to-date chart approved by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) indicates that a significant part of La Linea’s Alcaidesa Marina has been built on land that has been reclaimed in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

    The official chart approved by the IMO – a United Nations agency – is now also showing the location of the artificial reef laid in late July last year.

    According to its website, Alcaidesa Marina in La Linea is a privileged leisure port, located just 10 minutes walk from the Gibraltar airport. But it’s arguably closer than it should be. Part of the marina and all of the reef is in British Territory.

  11. It Ain’t Cricket asks ‘What other ports?’.

    Firstly, it’s not allowed in other ports in Spain: Algeciras is the only Spanish port which allows underwater cleaning. Diving companies in other Spanish ports object because this gives Algeciras a commercial advantage, and would like it banned everywhere.

    I’m not aware of any other ports in Western Europe besides Algeciras, Gibraltar, Malta and Piraeus. I have been told it may be happening in some Turkish ports but have not been able to verify that so far.

    There’s an interesting video which focuses on Algeciras and Gibraltar here:

  12. nigelpwsmith

    I am sorry, neither the Spanish Foreign Minister nor the UN recognizes that Gibraltar has territorial waters.

    If part of the Alcaidesa Marina is inside what you consider to be British Territorial Waters, then ask the UK Government to submit a formal protest.

    So far the UK has done nothing! I wonder why?

  13. Poor article as it makes lots of allegations, but doesn’t quote any sources. And showing a picture of a nuclear submarine which doesn’t use anti-fouling doesn’t inspire confidence. Still, by not mentioning Algeciras in the headline, perhaps the author means “Toxic waste being released in the Bay of Gibraltar”. So that settles that debate then.

  14. @Ciudadanos

    You are in error. The International Maritime Organisation and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea recognise that Gibraltar has territorial waters and delineate those in maps provided internationally.

    What the Spanish Government says or wants has nothing to do with it. They signed a treaty which they have to comply with. Even though they made a Declaration upon signature on 4 December 1984, it was pointed out to Spain that the declaration was invalid as the United Kingdom was a signatory and that the convention extended to Gibraltar as part of the United Kingdom.

    “http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/convention_declarations.htm#Spain Declaration made after ratification”

    The convention itself points out that any state that is signatory to it, cannot pick and choose which clauses are applicable or where they are not applicable. The UN accepts that Gibraltar has territorial waters.

    This video contains the maps released by the IMO which show that a portion of the La Linea marina is in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and the entire area where the reef is located is as well.


    The British Government does protest Spanish intrusions into British waters. If Spain does not stop these intrusions, then they may find that either their vessels are detained, their crews arrested and boats confiscated, or, they may find that the Gibraltar citizens start sinking Spanish GC boats when they are in British waters, to add them to the reef!

  15. Gibraltar’s Territorial Waters and UNCLOS – The UN ICJ confirmed in their Gulf of Maine judgement that a country cannot delimit another’s territorial waters without ‘consent’. The UN ICJ confirmed in their Black Sea judgment that statements and declarations made by Romania regarding security, uninhabited Islands and fisheries had no effect on UNCLOS. Of course, statements made by Spanish politicians regarding Gibraltar having no territorial waters fools no one but those who want to be fooled.

  16. Nigel, The IMO “evidence” you are talking about appeared in the Gibraltar Chronicle of 6th January as well, and is a video of a crack in a Royal Navy navigation screen, highlighted in squiggly red. You’ll notice the so-called “Maritime Line” or crack actually passes through the middle of Western Beach and inland (to the edge of the screen).

    It’s probably some of the RN lads having a giggle at the expense of the locals who seem to have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.

    I hope they don’t get into too much trouble for it.

  17. Nigelpwsmith

    Spanish state vessels will continue to patrol the waters around Gibraltar providing much needed security to the area. The GC is a disciplined force that will not fall for the provocations made by the “Triad Dinghy Task Force”

  18. @Ciudadanos

    You don’t really believe the stuff you spout you are just fishing for a reaction.

    Well we have stopped fishing by Spaniards in our waters by placing the concrete blocks to stop your illegal dredging not to create a reef.

    Just the same as your fascist border controls have nothing to do with cigarette smuggling.

    Like Olive Press but using just Gibraltar’s name only to get a reaction is poor journalism. Good idea to get the article read but poor journalism :-)

  19. @Ciudadanos

    If the GC boats continue to trespass in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, then sooner or later there will be a tragedy.

    One of your boats has already opened fire on an unarmed civilian when it tried to steal his jetski. Another collided with one of our escorts for a military vessel. If this continues, then Spain will regret their aggression. Especially when Spain starts falling apart later this year.

  20. Bluemoon

    Gibraltar’s economy is based on being a “leach”, sucking what it can out of Spain and other European nations including the United Kingdom. The people who lose out our the middle class, who end up paying more income tax thanks to Gibraltar aiding individuals in setting up shelf companies to avoid paying tax in Spain and even in the UK. The only real economy is Gibraltar is tourism, full stop.

    Barclays Bank would not have pulled out of Gibraltar if there was a real economy to finance, the Government of Gibraltar has even decided to create its own bank because no major bank wants to get involved in the shady money moving business that happens on the rock.

    While tax evasion and money laundering affect both Spain and the UK, tabacco smuggling only affects Spain, leading to a massive lose of tax revenue which in turn, everybody who lives and works in Spain, ends up paying for.

    Spain needs to get really tough on the border crossing to stop the absolutely bizarre situation of thousands on people entering into Gibraltar for the only purpose of buying tabacco above the legal amount and making it back into Spain. The surge in events of smugglers trying to find new ways of getting tabacco across the border is due to the phenomenal work being carried out by the GC at the border, in very difficult and sometimes tense and challenging circunstances.

  21. nigelpwsmith

    Spanish state vessels have done an excellent job so far and I am sure they will do their very best to avoid running over your rubber dinghies.

  22. Ciudadanos: What utter tripe. If the chief concern at the border is smuggling stuff OUT of Gib Why the hell are there massive queues to ENTER the Rock? Own up, it’s pure harassment and spite. Stop pretending otherwise.

  23. @Ciudadanos

    It’s fools like you that start wars and then wonder why it happened.

    If the Guardia Civil continue to trespass where they are not wanted, then they will regret it. Spain will break up when the Catalans vote in November. If Madrid tries to occupy Catalonia, then a civil war will commence. Either way, Spain will lose and I’m certain that the Gibraltarians will support Catalonia, as will the United Kingdom.

    As for your ridiculous claims about Gibraltar being the centre of tax evasion and money laundering, that is pure rubbish. In fact, there is more illegal money in Spain than in Gibraltar, whose own finances have undergone financial scrutiny by the EU and been passed as clean.

    Companies like to do business in Gibraltar, because the Gibraltar Government makes it easy for them to do so. They have the security of British law, they have the security on not having to bribe anyone. Gibraltar gives masses of work to Andalusia, something Madrid has been woefully lacking in providing.

    If smuggling INTO Spain was your concern, then why do the Guardia Civil cause long queues INTO Gibraltar?! The truth is that the queues are entirely politically motivated. Even some of the GC personnel have been reluctant to delay their neighbours and Madrid was forced to move in the black shirts to take over.

    You belligerent statements will come back to haunt you when Spanish people are suffering as a result of them.

  24. The issue that sparked this discussion was pollution of the Bay, which is being done from both the British and the Spanish sides – and both sides will suffer if the underwater cleaning continues.

    Almost all other major ports, including Spanish and British, have banned the practice, so this ought to be something that can be addressed from both sides.

    We’re talking about an order of magnitude of potentially 20 tons of persistent biocides being released into a small Bay every year – on top of previous biocides which are now banned but are still sitting in the sediment.

  25. @ Ciudadanos

    Oh dear. Beyond help. I thought people would be harder to brainwash in this day and age.

    It is every Englishman’s duty to avoid paying tax was said by an English statesman hundreds of years ago and is still ture today. Avoidance = legal Evasion = illegal. There is nothing wrong in owning your house via a company. There is something wrong with receiving bribes for building permits and generally stealing money from councils. Maybe the Guardia Uncivil should have looked at that instead of depriving honest Spaniards a few measly Euro’s for a few packets of ciggies. If the Spanish economy wasn’t broken they wouldn’t need to smuggle.

    Barclays Bank are leaving because they no longer want pennies from working people or in fact hundreds of thousands from businesses. They see themselves offshore for the very rich. More earnings less work. Economics not politics.

  26. nigelpwsmith

    Cataluña cannot have a vote for independence because it is not allowed by the Spanish Constitution.
    If the Catalán Government tries to hold a referendum, the local catalán police will stop it from happening following direct orders from Madrid. If they fail to do so, the CG and national police will take over their role.

    If the Catalán Government declares unilaterally independence, their political leaders will be arrested and sent to jail and all financial control will be assumed by the Spanish Central Government, all civil servant salaries (including that of the local police force) will be paid directly from Madrid for those who accept the new situation and for those who don’t, they will be fired.

    I completely support Scotland wanting to become an independent sovereign nation, and hopefully they will achieve this goal very soon, but Cataluña is part of Spain and will continue to be part of Spain much to your regret.

  27. Great example of españolito doublethink there ciudadanos…

    You obviously don’t get what democracy is and constitutions are not written in stone, they remain legitimate only as long as they have popular support, which the current Spanish constitution clearly does not have in Catalunya.

  28. Iestyn ap Robert

    Don’t be naive, are you telling me that if the citizens of Birmingham decide they want to become independent they can just go ahead and have a vote and leave the United Kingdom.

    While Spain has been and still is in a complicated situation, I believe things are getting better, but the reality of Cataluña is that they are completely broke, their only line of credit is the Spanish Central Government.

    The whole independence movement is a smoke screen to cover 30 years of democratic mismanagement, nepotism and corruption at the highest levels by the Regional Catalán Government.

  29. Bluemoon, your idea that the concrete blocks have been placed to prevent illegal dredging, is as bizarre as is the Gibraltar Town Council’s explanation that they are there to protect a sea-bird attracting marine conservation zone, in toxic waters, off the end of one of the world’s most dangerous runways.

  30. @Ciudadanos

    You really are being very foolish.

    If the citizens of Birmingham wanted to be independent and enough of them voted for this, then the Government would let them have a Referendum to decide if they wanted to pull out of the United Kingdom.

    That is precisely what is happening right now with Scotland. The Scottish people voted the Scottish National Party into power in the Scottish Government.


    As part of their election promises, the SNP said that they would seek a Referendum and the British Government has given them this as part of their rights of Self Determination.

    The Spanish Government in Madrid doesn’t understand democracy, because they haven’t had it long enough for it to establish itself as the dominant principle of the society. You’ve become too used to dictatorship (Francoist or Napoleonic) or absolute rule by the monarchy, to understand that it is the fundamental right of all citizens to determine their own future.

    As for your statement that Catalonia is broke, that is simply rubbish. Catalonia is the economic powerhouse of Spain. They contribute more taxes to Madrid than any other region.

    They also have strong support outside Spain, as many recognise Barcelona is a cultural capital from the Olympics, to the Formula 1 GP to FC Barcelona. The Catalan identity is far stronger than any Spanish nationalism. Indeed, it is only matched by the desire of the Basques to form their own country.

    Spain cannot stop the Catalans having the Referendum. If Madrid sends in the troops, it will ignite a civil war which will see the breakup of Spain similar to the break up of Yugoslavia.

    The European Union would never forgive Madrid if they used arms to suppress the rights of the Catalans. The EU receives a significant proportion of their contributions from Catalan trade and if Madrid started a war, it would be immediately suppressed by the other EU and NATO countries.

    Your aggression, both here in Gibraltar and in Catalonia is like a suicide bomber. You are intent of pressing the button to blow up a bomb, but fail to comprehend that in doing so, you blow up yourself in the process.

    You are an ignorant man.

  31. My dear Ciudadanos,
    You are at it again. I n today’s Spanish national news it is revealed that
    1. Almost a third of Spanish children in live below the poverty line.
    2. A quarter of the money moving around in Spain has never been taxed.
    3. There are great number of fraud cases doing the rounds in Spain. Not one mentions a Gibraltarian account. Surprising since we are considered a tax evasion centre.
    I am sure that, using your rather interesting logic, Gibraltar is to blame.
    Ciudadano, I have mentioned this before, I believe you do not reside in Spain and you are definitely not affected by the crisis in your country otherwise you would not be coming up with such ludricous comments.
    Have you ever considered pointing a finger at your rather inept and corrupt politicians.

  32. Ciudadanos, there is nothing to stop Birmingham seceding from the UK, if that’s what the people of Birmingham want. It’s called democracy, which you clearly do not get.

    Catalunya is almost broke because its fiscal deficit has been running at circa 8% for over 30 years. You must be in cloud cuckoo land if you thing the Spanish central government is good for a credit line! It’s pretty much broke itself, mostly due to decades of rampant mismanagement and corruption…

  33. What about the Northern Irish Catholics who want to part of the Republic of Ireland? No vote here!

    Anyway, getting back to the subject of toxic waste in the waters around Gibraltar, Spain will send in a special purpose vessel to investigate. Let’s just hope that RN and GIB police rubber dinghies stay out of the way.

    With respect to Cataluña, read what the rating agencies have to say about the place! They would love to be able to finance their debt, the only problem is that nobody wants to buy it. At the moment the place is financed by a credit line from Madrid.

    Nigel, there will be no Catalán referendum in 2014,,,, I will kindly remind you in January 2015 as we celebrate Scotland joining the EU.

  34. Ciudadanos
    It is very easy to pontificate from a position of comfort which, I am sure , you currently find yourself in.
    1. 26 per cent(40 per cent in Cadiz)unemployed.
    2. Your royal family and the ruling PP involved in extremely serious cases of fraud. Something which would have brought down any government in a mature European democracy.
    3. 25 per cent of monies in Spain exchanging hands without tax declarations.
    4.A third of children living below the poverty line.
    5. Severe cuts to the medical/social/educational services.
    6. Military down to 67,000 personnel.
    7. The loss of workers rights so those who work, work longer hours for less pay.
    8. The decrease in pensions.
    You have the audacity to point to Gibraltar as one of the main contributors to the above.
    I am sorry but you must be kidding mate.

  35. @Ciudadanos

    Yet again your point is incorrect and foolish.

    Those people in Northern Ireland that want the province to be part of the Republic are the minority. The overwhelming majority are Unionists and they don’t want to join the Republic.

    If the Republicans were in the majority and wanted to leave the United Kingdom, then the British Government would let them have a Referendum. If that vote then went in favour of joining the Republic and the Republic agreed, then they would seceed away from the Union.

    Again, you fail to understand that in democracy, the people have to decide. If the majority want to leave, then they have the right to do so. It’s called Self Determination, but it’s obviously a foreign concept in Spain.

    If Spain sends any vessel into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters without being invited, then they may find that the vessel is arrested and confiscated. Given Madrid’s dire financial trouble, I doubt that you can afford to lose too many vessels before you have to wave a white flag and surrender!

    The Catalan referendum will go ahead and you will be eating your words when it does.

    Scotland is unlikely to leave the United Kingdom. But if they do, then we will let them go. It would be a huge mistake, because not only would it hurt them financially, but they wouldn’t be able to join the EU, because they would have to go to the back of the applicant queue.

    Turkey has a better chance of joining the EU before Scotland. Moreover, Scotland could find their application vetoed by existing members.

  36. I am fed up hearing about the pollution from the ‘dirty spaniards’.
    The companies who do underwater cleaning from Algeciras use machines which try to collect the pollution, even if this is very difficult.
    But the ‘clean’ english companies do not even try and all of the pollution goes straight into the Bay.
    Gibraltar needs to clean up their act!

  37. When the UK leaves the EU in democratic referendum in 2015, the Scottish will look back and realize how lucky they were to vote for independence and still be part of the EU.
    Scotland will be given priority to join the EU given the unique and “legal” separation from the rest of the UK. After the referendum, the Scottish Government will need to start negotiations in many areas such as Defence or UK debt. The actual independence of Scotland may happen in 2015 and the actual date could also be the joining date of the EU after a fast track application process.

    The EU will not make Scotland wait because of norte sea oil, the UK without the oil is really not worth that much and most major EU nations will secretly celebrate the exist of the UK.

    But at least England and Wales will still be able to develop their gas fracking industry for shale gas. This extraction technique has been banned in Spain and France due to its environmental damage. It will be interesting to see what your countryside looks like 30 years from now.

  38. Angelo my dear
    Most of the work done on ships in Gibraltar is done using the three dry docks. You can’t be cleaner than that. Of course, Algeciras has to use other methods because it hasn’t got any dry docks. Only works that do not need the use of the dry docks is carried out outside of these.
    By the way, the three dry docks are now occupied by Spanish ferries.

  39. Ciudadanos

    It’s precisely because a majority of people in the province of Ulster wanted to be part of the UK that Northern Ireland is part of the UK and is not part of the Republic.

    The whole of Ireland was given independence in 1922 and became the Irish Free State, but the province of Ulster chose to opt out of the Free State and return to the UK. Democracy in action. Something you clearly do not understand.

  40. @Ciudadanos

    You really don’t understand what’s going on.

    Scotland will not leave the United Kingdom. It would cost them too much if they did.

    They would not be allowed to join the EU at an accelerated rate. Barroso and Merkel have already vetoed this. They would join the back of the queue behind Turkey.

    The British General Election is in 2015, but there won’t be a referendum on EU membership until after the EU negotiations are completed.

    There is at best 30 years of North Sea oil left. Even if there maybe undiscovered oil fields, by leaving the UK, Scotland would miss out on the oil coming from the Falkland Islands by 2020, not to mention the 60 years or more of fracked gas.

    Fracking does not destroy the environment. Despite some problems in the States, they’ve been fracking successfully for some time now and benefited from the results.

    The key point though is that Spain is going to continue to have serious financial problems and with as much as 25% unemployed it will only get worse. When Catalonia seeks to split away this November, if Madrid sends the troops in, the Catalans (and probably the Basques too) will seek independence, followed by other regions breaking away.

    Madrid will become the capital of a very minor province and Spain even if it is only the area around Madrid, will become a small insignificant state within Europe.

  41. Iestyn ap Roberts. Don’t call Northern Ireland ‘the province of Ulster’ – three of the nine counties of Ulster ceased to be part of the UK in 1922. There were people in parts of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan who would have liked to have remained part of the UK, whereas there are people in Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh who wanted to leave it.

  42. Ciudadanos
    Hi mate
    Reading your comments, you are the man fighting the windmills. You insist in putting your points forward but you do not try and answer counter arguments.
    I still feel you are arguing from a position of comfort and not addressing the severe problems affecting your country where ,when compared, the Gibraltar question pales into insignificance.

  43. El Fifi is completely missing the point. Did he even read the article?
    It’s the companies who clean ships in the bay who are causing this pollution, it has nothing to do with the dry docks. You only have to look at the websites of the diving companies to see that the SPANISH diving companies TRY TO STOP THE POLLUTION going into the water;
    If the article is right it is more than a ton of toxic waste into the Bay every time they (THE COMPANIES FROM GIBRALTAR) clean a ship!
    Gibraltar is always complaining about pollution from Spain but this is worse than what is coming from the Spanish side: They (THE COMPANIES FROM GIBRALTAR) are causing much more pollution then the Spanish do.
    Got it?

  44. Ciudadanos and Angelo
    Except for Western beach, which is contaminated because of a sewage storm drain in La Linea, all the contaminated shoreline stretches from Puente Mayorga past Palmones.
    You guys will obviously blame Gibraltar.Obviously, the refinery itself does not pollute even if you can smell the sulphur as you drive through Campamento and see the thick discharge into the atmosphere.
    Neither does the toxic waste dump in Los Barrios.
    The level of contamination of the bay itself cannot be that high if we are encouraged to eat “pescaito fresco de la Bahia”.
    According to the article”sensitive species and communities might be affected”. Which means that they are not affected as yet unlike the human species living in the area of the afore mentioned Spanish sites.

  45. As it happens, I have just read a story about a leak in one of the storage tanks in the Los Barrios site and highly toxic substances are seeping into the surrounding soil with the possibility of reaching Rio Palmones. Talk about cleaning up your act.
    Ciudadanos and Angelo read it for yourself in Europa Sur!

  46. You see El Fifi, you can be right. But…
    What do you suggest, El Fifi?
    We should all wait until the fish die and we start growing breast because of the chemicals that GIBRALTAR is pouring into the Bay? I don’t want heavy metals and banned herbicides in my seafood just so Gibraltar can attract some more ships to their harbour. If you want to live in peace with your neighbours you should set an example and not allow this kind of thing, which is apparently banned everywhere else in Europe. Why don’t you do something about this instead of keep pointing the finger everywhere else?

  47. @angelo

    If YOU want to live in peace with Gibraltar, you should stop intruding in their territorial waters or blocking the free movement of people.

    The majority of the pollution in Gibraltar Bay comes from the Spanish. From the oil refinery and from the raw sewage that they pump in without treatment.

    Fix your own problems before you complain about Gibraltar. When you are holier than thou, then you can criticise Gibraltar, but not before.

  48. Angelo
    For the sake of all those who live and work in the area, we hope that all the relevant authorities take the necessary steps to prevent any type of pollution filtrating into our beautiful bay.
    If it was up to me, I wouldn’t want any nuclear sub calling into Gibraltar but at the same time , I would get rid of that bloody big refinery.
    I would build marinas ,walkways,restaurants and hotels and make it into the most beautiful bay in the world.
    But that’s Utopia and, unfortunately, bunkering and all its associate businesses is one of the main employers in the area.

  49. El Fifi you are right and I totally agree with you. This is the right viewpoint.
    The authorities need to do something about this. It is not Utopia to stop something like this. Most people in the area have their livelihood from shipping and business has to go on. But to me this toxic poisons is worse than oil because nobody sees it and then suddenly we have a disaster. Also wouldn’t it be more business for the dry docks if this had to be done out of the water where the poisons can be handled correctly? I am sure you agree on it.
    You can also contact that guy, Mike, that wrote the article originally and let’s join forces and rise some hell and we can both do something to change those conditions.

  50. We need some reporter on our side to get the word out and be heard.
    And let the proper authorities know that we don’t agree with all that and we want a change.

  51. Nigel

    The Spanish goverment don´t recognise territorial waters for UK outside the port of Gibraltar. And Gibraltar is not a state and can´t have any territory.

    The only legal thing that can be done respect Gibraltar is their decolonization.

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