JOINT UNDERSTANDING ISSUED BY THE FISHERMEN AND GIBRALTAR GOVERNMENT
The fishing sector of the Campo de Gibraltar respects as fact that the
Gibraltarian authorities have the right to legislate in relation to
fishing as they see fit and therefore, as such, respect the validity
of the Nature Protection Ordinance (Gibraltar law).
Equally the fishing sector undertakes to respect the instructions of
the police authorities of Gibraltar in their enforcement of that law.
As a consequence both sides understand that there should be a return
to the status quo which existed in the period 1991 to the start of
1997 and that thus the law will be applied with the same level of
tolerance as during that same period.
The Government of Gibraltar states further that it is not its objective
to apply the law with greater rigour than before and therefore as in
the period 1991-97 there will be fishing through tolerance in the
application of that law, and not as of right and not due to the
invalidity of that law.
This will be demonstrated through the respect that all vessels will have
towards instructions from the Gibraltar police.
Both sides have discussed in depth what a return to the status quo means,
in practical terms, in terms of the nature and level of firmness of the
enforcement of that particular Gibraltar law. The Gibraltar Government
will ask His Excellency the Governor to ask the Royal Gibraltar Police
to enforce the law on the basis of this understanding.
After having discussed in detail what a return to the status quo and therefore
to the 1991-97 situation is, both sides understand that the law will be
applied strictly in the following circumstances:
AREAŚWEST SIDE (BAY)
Distance from the coast 225 metres.
Number of fishing boats: no more than four.
(In this respect the luceros are not considered boats actually fishing).
At no time can any entrance or exit of the two openings of the ports be obstructed nor will the passage of ships be hindered.
In areas less than 225 metres from the beach or coast.
The circumstances here described do not mean that any transgression of the
Nature Protection Ordinance (law of Gibraltar) is permitted, and the fishermen
undertake to respect the instructions of the police authorities
in every case.
Contact will be maintained so as to provide such clarification as may be necessary of this understanding.