Written by Auntie Jean
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Monday, 25 August 2014

image for Gibraltar Considers Following U.N. Recommendations To Extend Territorial Waters to 7 miles
Spanish Environmental Survey vessel

Representatives at a recent U.N. meeting in Gibraltar included United States Special Envoy Chandler Schwimmer. At the meeting on Friday, the United States representative proposed that Gibraltar's territorial waters should be re-instated to the seven and one half nautical miles originally agreed with Spain.

This would give Spanish boats and flotilla half a nautical mile along the shallowest part of the Moroccan coast line enabling the Spanish "Environmental" boats to view the sea bed more closely and continue their activities without illegally impeding International maritime traffic.

The proposal came against the background of tension over persistent Guardia Civil incursions and Spanish efforts to designate an EU nature site in British waters.

The officials are looking at numerous different aspects of what an extension to the territorial sea would entail, not just in political but in practical terms.

"This continues to be an issue that we are discussing with the U.K." Chief Minister James Pickard told our U.N. representative yesterday.

Mr. Pickard told the assembly that there had been 177 "unlawful incursions" by Spanish state vessels between August 1, 2014, and August 24th. including a Spanish attempt to board a nuclear submarine.

That amounts to more than seven a day on average.

Asked what Britain was doing about it, Mr Pickard repeated the now standard line.

He said the Royal Navy challenged the Guardia Civil whenever its vessels made illegal incursions into Gibraltar waters.

"We also make formal diplomatic protests to the Spanish Government about all such incursions," he said.

"In the meantime we will continue to do all that is necessary to uphold British sovereignty over British Gibraltar Territorial Waters."

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