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  • Too many accidents, too much oil, not enough action

    The ESG is extremely concerned about the ever increasing cycle of accidents at sea. While the oil spill in this latest incident, originating from the Spanish side, was again not a massive one, the damage is felt and exposes a continuation of inadequate shipping controls in the Bay.

    The rate at which we are witnessing accidents demands that an urgent plan is imposed on the Bay for controlling all shipping activity. This week we saw a report on bunkering levels from different European ports- another important statistic to publish would be the rate of accidents at each of these ports.

    Port officials and politicians often state that standards followed are of the highest, that a ceiling does not need to be placed on shipping or port activity because if things are done right, then accidents could even be eliminated.

    The reality, however, is that due to the disputed nature of the jurisdiction within the Bay, current shipping controls are clearly inadequate to avoid accidents. The Bay environment deserves protection and preservation and requires full application of all necessary environmental laws and controls. This important factor, often overlooked in the world of commerce, should itself act as a ceiling on the amount of maritime activity safely sustainable in a small area like the Bay.

    The frequency of accidents will surely be ringing alarm bells in Gibraltar and Spain as much with politicians as with the public at large- meanwhile, oil companies earning large profits from these businesses sit back and watch their investment grow while our beautiful environment and homeland becomes ever more threatened.