Spanish fishing boats allowed to fish in British waters, by the RGP, but not if you are local...

Leo Olivero

In the last couple of months there has been an endless amount of posts on social media and irate readers coming to our offices to highlight the growing number of Spanish fishing boats arriving daily to illegally fish in BGTW. 

Spanish Fishermen No Licence to Fish But Licence to Kill.

Not only the latter, but Spanish fishing boats are now arriving daily from as far as Estepona to commercially fish in local waters.

I took the time to monitor the situation myself on a few occasions as I do when Panorama receives these reports. There was nothing really to confirm, because these fishing boats arrive, illegally fish and are then allowed to get away with it with total impunity. Nothing shocking really as I’ve seen it so many times before.

But I will repeat what I always say ‘how can local enforcement agencies allow Spanish fishing boats to conduct these illegal fishing activities, its like handing ‘Spanish Fishermen a Licence to Fish and Licence to Kill at the Same Time’ and go on to destroy the marine environment, especially any living creature down under water or at the seabed’.

Where the double standard criticism comes into its own, and what is extremely frustrating and annoying to the local fishing fraternity, is unlike the practically zero enforcement focus or effort on illegal fishing by Spanish fishing boats. Locals are subjected to all the fishing laws of the land with the official recreational fishing season like the Bluefin tuna in BGTW the strictly enforced Tuna quota’s and where anglers are religiously reminded about the various licence required to fish this fish and the other and where applications forms must be completed submitted and approved.