The Government notes the statement issued by the Small Boat Owners’ Association and wishes to clarify a number of issues in that statement.

The Mid-Harbour Small Boats Marina Association (MHSBMA) will be  responsible for running the new marina except for the allocation of berths. The MHSBMA will consist of members who will be berth-holders at the new marina. It will be for those members to elect a committee to run the marina. It cannot be any other way. Indeed, the running of the marina cannot be entrusted to any association other than the association made up of berth-holders at the marina.

No authority or responsibility is given to the Captain of the Port by the Small Vessels (Mooring Controls) Rules 2016 in relation to the running of the new marina. The Captain of the Port will, however, be responsible for the allocation of berths. The reason for this is so that berths, initially and that subsequently become vacant, can be allocated to those persons who are on the waiting list held by the Gibraltar Port Authority for this purpose. It is only fair to those persons who have put their names on that waiting list that this should be the case.

In addition, the Captain of the Port will approve the budget set by the MHSBMA. The marina will need to be maintained, meet operational costs and create a sinking fund for the eventual replacement of pontoons and access gangways. Fees for this purpose will be set as from 1 January 2017 by the MHSBMA. Given the substantial investment made by Government in the new marina, it is appropriate for the Captain of the Port to be required to satisfy himself that the budget set by the MHSBMA is adequate to meet the expenses required under the Rules. All fees raised initially or as from 1 January 2017 will be exclusively used for the new marina.

The Rules establish the Small Vessels Advisory Board. The purpose of the Board is to advise the Minister for the Port and the Captain of the Port in relation to a number of matters including mooring facilities for small vessels. The Board will have no involvement or responsibility for the running of the new marina which, as stated above, will be for the MHSBMA.

An area to be used as a servicing yard will be made available by Government for boats berthed at the new marina. In the meantime, interim facilities will be provided.

The Government has no doubt that the new facilities which include not just the marina but also a public promenade and berthing for super yachts will be enjoyed by the whole community.