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Jonathan Sánchez on board his boat, Mi Daniela. EFE
Spanish fishing boat stopped by Gibraltar police ignites war of words

Spanish fishing boat stopped by Gibraltar police ignites war of words

Jonathan Sánchez from La Línea says he was fishing in Spanish waters and has the support of the local authorities, but Gibraltar disputes this

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MALAGA.

Friday, 25 August 2023, 16:59

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Relations between Gibraltar and politicians across the border in Spain soured this week after Gibraltar police took action against a Spanish fishing vessel which they claimed had been repeatedly entering British territorial water off the Rock.

Spanish local and regional politicians have angrily denied the small vessel called Mi Daniela was fishing in Gibraltarian waters and asked Gibraltar for an explanation.

The Royal Gibraltar Police said that on Monday morning this week the skipper was stopped and reported over a series of alleged offences in a joint operation with the Rock's Customs and Environmental Protection officers.

The skipper, Jonathan Sánchez, 33, of La Línea said he had his documentation checked and was reported for fishing in Gibraltar waters, fishing using techniques Gibraltar sees as damaging the environment, disobeying authorities and dangerous navigation.

He was stopped again the following day when we went back to get the nets he had left behind in the area on the east side of the Rock towards Sotogrande.

Sánchez said, "I fish in waters that the government of my country says are Spanish and I use nets and techniques that are legal in Spain and the European Union."

A Gibraltar police spokesperson said, "Proactive efforts to deal with this fishing boat have been ongoing for some weeks and they culminated in today's positive and robust action."

The Andalusian regional minister for Fisheries, Carmen Crespo, urged Gibraltar to act responsibly. "They aren't breaking any laws and they have a licence to fish those waters that are under Spanish control," she said, explaining that only a small number of vessels using basic techniques fished in the area.

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