A Centre of Maritime Excellence
The strategic location of Gibraltar explains why, for centuries, the Rock has been used as a naval fortress and why so many battles have been fought over this important peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.
Today, this same quirk of geography has allowed Gibraltar to become a maritime 'Centre of Excellence'. Located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and Atlantic shipping lands, Gibraltar is ideally placed to provide a wide range of services to vessels of all sizes and types, and with around 240 million gross tonnes of vessel calls per year, this is clearly the case.
Gibraltar is a bustling commercial centre and with approximately 60,000 vessels transiting the Strait of Gibraltar each year, the Rock has developed into a major bunkering port - the largest in the Mediterranean. The local airport is just a few minutes from the harbour, from where there are several daily flights to various destinations in the UK and experienced agents are on hand to obtain spare parts, supply provisions, effect crew changes as well as offering many other services too.
The Port Authority
The Gibraltar Port Authority was established in 2005. Its strategy is to build on Gibraltar's unique georgraphical position and provide a vital link between all shipping stakeholders in order to deliver the best possible service to visiting ships in a safe and efficient operating environment. As part of delivering this core function, we manage safety of navigation, as well as regulating the various activities which are carried out in our waters. Notable among these is the regulation of the bunkering industry, for which we attract international recognition for our best practice. The vision for the future is to continue building on this success, extending the level of partnership and transparency to all sectors of the industry at our Port.
The Port Authority's main functions are:
- Monitoring and control of all vessel movements for British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) in support of port operations and navigational safety;
- Provision and monitoring of port security including the provision of security controls within restricted and controlled zones;
- The licensing of Port operations;
- Search and Rescue in BGTW;
- Pollution prevention and response;
- Monitoring and control of bunkering and ship-to-ship operations within BGTW.
All operational matters including navigational safety and the smooth running of the Port are overseen by The Captain of the Port.