Manoeuvre of the Spanish military in the Strait of Gibraltar on May 8th 2008

by firmm Team

Text: Katharina Heyer

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it.
When I was walking to the castle today between 10.00 and 10.30 a.m. I had my field-glasses with me (unfortunately I´d forgotten my camera) to check the waves after the strong Levante, because the next trip after 4 days of wind would be taking place at 12:00. When I reached the lookout point I heard a loud detonation that totally frightened me. An old woman next to me cried out loud ""los moros", the Moroccans are shooting!"
I couldn't believe that, because the noise came from the cliff-lined coast on the Spanish side. And after that there was another explosion. This time I could see from which direction the projectiles were coming, and at the same time I saw 3 huge impacts outside in the Strait of Gibraltar with water-jets of an enormous altitude quite well with my field-glasses. In the front - not far away from the line of fire - there was a fishing boat going towards Tarifa harbor. Except for the one boat there were no others outside. A short time later I heard a 3rd and 4th deafening bang. I could see more and more impacts, and finally there were 5 huge water-jets, all of them in direction of the new Moroccan harbor "Tanger MED", which is located in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar. There the width of the Strait is just 14km and near the impacts we recently saw 3 Sperm Whales, as well as the schools of Pilot Whales with all their calves that we observed just 2-3 km away from the impacts. A concentration of the marine mammals that live here is located in an area of 3-4 km around the impacts. I got sick while thinking of the animals and how they probably got scared to death when, even on land, it was such a deafening noise. Furthermore, the coastal area has been declared now for a while as a nature reserve, about which we were very pleased.
How is it possible that the military can operate the manoeuvres here of all places, although everybody knows that it's the habitat of many cetaceans?!
It's just unbelievable how recklessly the military can act!!!


Photo: Aurelio Morales

Estrecho Geschosse

Photo: Photomontage

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