Gibraltar unveils management scheme for its territorial waters
The Gibraltar Government has provided for more protection for British Gibraltar Territorial Waters with the publication of the revised Southern Waters of Gibraltar Management Scheme.
The move does not impact on the on-going fishing dispute but it does make clear that Gibraltar has a management plan for its waters already in place and is now being updated. Spain has recently claimed it would come up with a management plan for these same waters as part of its attempt to claim jurisdiction.
No 6 announced that the scheme aims to provide a framework to enable the relevant authorities to carry out their responsibilities and functions in line with the requirements of the Nature Protection Act 1991, the Marine Strategy Regulations 2011 and the Marine Protection Regulations 2012.
According to the Government, the provisions are to protect both the habitats and species for which the Southern Waters of Gibraltar European Marine Site was designated, but also extends to the whole of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.
“The Management Scheme promotes the sustainable use of a living, working environment. It brings together all existing management measures in place and provides the mechanism by which these can be delivered,” said a Government spokesperson.
The Government has said that the Management Scheme will not be a static management plan, but an on-going process that aids decision making, continually evolving to take account of changing issues and legal obligations and it sets out a regime to monitor the condition of the site’s features and considers options to rectify any deterioration of natural habitats and species. “The revised scheme differs from the original in that it refers to the Marine Protection Regulations that are currently being formulated, refers to Marine Conservation Zones, and defines non-anchoring sites in order to protect the integrity of offshore reefs,” explained the Government spokesperson.
In addition Government have said that rules to regulate activities in the Marine Conservation Zones are currently being drafted in consultation with relevant stakeholders as part of the Marine Protection Regulations