MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, November 17th 2018 - 18:04 UTC

Gibraltar logged 431 Spanish vessels' incursions into territorial waters

Thursday, January 14th 2016 - 06:24 UTC
Full article 27 comments
Figures released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office show that a total of 431 incursions were logged by British officials last year. Figures released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office show that a total of 431 incursions were logged by British officials last year.
That compares to 387 in 2014 but is significantly lower than the 486 incursions recorded in 2013, when tensions at sea were running high. That compares to 387 in 2014 but is significantly lower than the 486 incursions recorded in 2013, when tensions at sea were running high.

The number of unlawful incursions by Spanish state vessels into British Gibraltar territorial waters rose last year compared to 2014. But the number of serious incidents tailed off in the final months of 2015 against the context of diplomatic efforts to increase cooperation at sea, according to a report published in the Gibraltar Chronicle.

 Figures released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in response to Chronicle questions show that a total of 431 incursions were logged by British officials last year.

That compares to 387 in 2014 but is significantly lower than the 486 incursions recorded in 2013, when tensions at sea were running high.

The total for last year was pushed up by an intense period between May and August, when over 40 incursions per month were logged.

It was during this time too that a number of serious incidents unfolded at sea, including one in which Spanish customs officers fired warning shots close to a local pleasure boat.

That incident was described as “outrageous” by the British and Gibraltar governments at the time and led to diplomatic efforts to defuse tension and focus instead on cooperation.

The Royal Navy’s Gibraltar Squadron, together with the Royal Gibraltar Police, the Gibraltar Defence Police and HM Customs (Gibraltar), also stepped up their presence at sea as a deterrent.

Since then, officials said there had been “a noticeable decline” in the number of serious incursions.

Law enforcement agencies from both sides of the border have also cooperated in a number of anti-smuggling operations at sea.

Officials here caution against reading too much into monthly breakdowns on incursion numbers, which they said can be affected by weather conditions. Likewise peaks in smuggling activity across the Strait of Gibraltar – and subsequent counter-smuggling operations – can also result in a rise in the number of incursions.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • scrdmgl

    Treaties of Imperial Times no longer in existence, can not apply in the XXI century.
    Consequently, those “illegal” incursions lack validity because those waters are in fact Spanish and not British. The time will come when Albion will have to relinquish that settlement. It's a matter of when, not if. Maybe the editor hasn't noticed that England is a little island and not an Empire anymore.

    Jan 14th, 2016 - 10:01 am 0
  • golfcronie

    @1 HaHaHa you jest noble sir, when has the UK ever given up anything especially to the Spaniards. When Spain gives up their North African colonies then perhaps ( just perhaps ) the UK will give up Gib, but I would't hold your breath. You are such a hypocrit. Get out of Argentina as that is a colony of Spain.

    Jan 14th, 2016 - 10:19 am 0
  • commonsense

    @1
    For England you should say UK. We have always been a small(ish) island, the physical size of UK hasn't changed. True we no longer control the biggest empire the world has, or will ever see but we are still, according to a Chinese report, the only Global Power in the world, behind the only Super Power, the USA.
    Spain doesn't even make it as a regional power and Argentina just doesn't make the list at all.. Gib will always be British as will The Falklands.. Grow up, open your eyes and smell the coffee!

    Jan 14th, 2016 - 11:22 am 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!