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  • No to Eastside Bunkering – GFSA statement


    GFSA is totally opposed to bunkering because of its detrimental and destructive effects on marine life and the marine environment. However it recognises that this activity currently takes place in Bay of Gibraltar. Whilst it would prefer that the activity does not take place at all the reality is that it exists. In this context GFSA supports the ESG’s attempts to try and bring this activity under more robust regulation and control to ensure that there are no negative impacts on the environment. This week there was another incident reported when a Chinese owned ship that had taken bunkers in the Bay had a small collision with one of the floating fuel petrol stations anchored in the Bay.

    This is a stark reminder that without proper controls there is the potential for a very big incident to happen in Gibraltar waters. The marine environment and the seabed around our small coast line will not sustain such an accident.

    To extend bunkering to the East Side is totally opposed by the Federation. This contravenes totally the environmental stance of GFSA . To extend this activity is not be compatible with the Government’s designation of the Southern Waters of Gibraltar as a marine reserve. GFSA does not understand how the Government can make a case for it given this designation.

    Enough harm has already been done in the Bay and any attempt to extend this to the East Side will be opposed vigorously. GFSA does not agree with the continuing destruction of reefs and the sea bed caused by the use of anchors and anchor chains and calls for all the introduction of fixed anchorages. Not only will these put a stop to the destruction of reefs but they will promote and create new habitats where marine life can develop and thrive.

    There has been a sharp increase in the number of spillages and other accidents in the Bay and off Europa Point in recent years that have polluted the seas surrounding Gibraltar. If bunkering takes place on the East side the risks will increase and with it the chances of causing irreversible damage to the marine environment. GFSA does not want a repeat of these incidents.

    GFSA is totally opposed to East Side bunkering.