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Immense opportunities for the shipping industry in Gibraltar

January 11, 2024

Significant advancements are noticeable across various service levels offered by Gibraltar to the shipping industry. The historic “Pillars of Hercules,” dating back to ancient times, have solidified Gibraltar as a maritime centre adept at overcoming contemporary challenges. Mrs. Gemma Arias-Vasquez, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, discloses that Gibraltar’s Maritime Day event will, for the first time, occur in Greece on January 15, 2024.

“There are immense opportunities for the shipping industry in Gibraltar, and we are here to ensure that it leverages these opportunities, listening to the industry and the needs of potential port users”, emphasizes Mrs. Gemma Arias-Vasquez in her statements.

What is Gibraltar Maritime Day and why is it being organised in Greece this year?

“Gibraltar Maritime Day is an initiative where we bring the industry from Gibraltar out to other markets to talk to them about what is happening in Gibraltar…”

“There is a huge potential for the maritime industry in Gibraltar, and we are here to ensure that we lead the Gibraltar maritime industry to fulfil that potential by listening to industry and by listening to what potential users of the Gibraltar Port would require”.

What solutions are offered for the training of seafarers considering the significant needs that will arise in the coming years?

“The training of seafarers is crucial for ensuring safe and efficient maritime operations, especially considering the growing demands and advancements in the maritime industry. At the University of Gibraltar and our Maritime Academy, we utilize simulators, virtual reality, and augmented reality for immersive training experiences. These technologies provide realistic scenarios for hands-on learning without the risks associated with real-life situations…”

“In addition to technical skills, we also emphasize the development of soft skills such as leadership, communication, and teamwork, which are crucial for effective operations and management onboard vessels and ashore…”

“In Gibraltar we are taking into account the future training needs while developing and implementing these solutions and adapting to the evolving needs of the maritime industry. Our vision is to not only offer the mandatory training of seafarers but enhance it with an experience to meet the significant challenges and demands that will arise in the future”.

What is the role of Gibraltar as one of the busiest bunkering ports, towards decarbonisation?

“Gibraltar has strict environmental and safety controls; this was seen particularly pertinently with our handling of the OS35 incident, as well as other incidents. Our Government has passed the Climate Change Act, which is committing to Gibraltar being carbon neutral by 2045. We have had initiatives such as bunkering operations of LNG in the port of Gibraltar and take up of this service is showing steady growth, as well as the availability and supply of biofuels in the Port of Gibraltar…”

“Greenports Status and Sustainability: The current Government’s manifesto details a clear vision to achieve net zero emissions, contributing to the Greenports status. It includes plans to measure emissions from port operators, particularly those on the port estate, to better plan future port activities. Sustainability mandates will be incorporated into port operator licenses on a sector-by-sector basis…”

“Environmental Protection Measures: The Gibraltar Government has committed to not allowing bunkering on the East Side of Gibraltar, citing its potential high risks to the community. This decision stems from a desire to protect the marine environment, particularly in light of recent incidents such as the wreck of the OS35 and an oil spill. The Government aims to minimise risks associated with such incidents in Gibraltar’s waters…”

“These commitments reflect an effort to balance the economic importance of the port and shipping activities in Gibraltar with the necessity of environmental protection and sustainability”.