THE 1999
 FISHING AGREEMENT

 3rd February 1999

Published Document in English

JOINT UNDERSTANDING ISSUED BY THE FISHERMEN AND GIBRALTAR GOVERNMENT

The fishing sector of the Campo de Gibraltar respects as fact that the Gibraltarian authorities have the right to legislate in relation to fishing as they see fit and therefore, as such, respect the validity of the Nature Protection Ordinance (Gibraltar law).

Equally the fishing sector undertakes to respect the instructions of the police authorities of Gibraltar in their enforcement of that law.

As a consequence both sides understand that there should be a return to the status quo which existed in the period 1991 to the start of 1997 and that thus the law will be applied with the same level of tolerance as during that same period.

The Government of Gibraltar states further that it is not its objective to apply the law with greater rigour than before and therefore as in the period 1991-97 there will be fishing through tolerance in the application of that law, and not as of right and not due to the invalidity of that law.

This will be demonstrated through the respect that all vessels will have towards instructions from the Gibraltar police.

Both sides have discussed in depth what a return to the status quo means, in practical terms, in terms of the nature and level of firmness of the enforcement of that particular Gibraltar law. The Gibraltar Government will ask His Excellency the Governor to ask the Royal Gibraltar Police to enforce the law on the basis of this understanding.

ANNEX

After having discussed in detail what a return to the status quo and therefore to the 1991-97 situation is, both sides understand that the law will be applied strictly in the following circumstances:

AREAŚWEST SIDE (BAY)

Distance from the coast 225 metres.

Number of fishing boats: no more than four.

(In this respect the luceros are not considered boats actually fishing).

At no time can any entrance or exit of the two openings of the ports be obstructed nor will the passage of ships be hindered.

EAST SIDE

In areas less than 225 metres from the beach or coast.

The circumstances here described do not mean that any transgression of the Nature Protection Ordinance (law of Gibraltar) is permitted, and the fishermen undertake to respect the instructions of the police authorities in every case.

Contact will be maintained so as to provide such clarification as may be necessary of this understanding.

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