Ecologists Denounce ‘Toxic Cloud’ Covering The Strait Of Gibraltar

Image of fumes from a ship in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Image of fumes from a ship in the Strait of Gibraltar. Credit: Twitter@Verdemar_EA

THE presence of a ‘toxic cloud’ in the Strait of Gibraltar has been denounced by Verdemar Ecologists in Action this Sunday, July 30.

According to the environmental organisation, ships passing through the corridor are responsible for these emissions. In a statement on social media, they claimed that levels are ‘skyrocketing’ in the Bay of Algeciras in Cadiz province. A similar problem exists in the North African enclave of Ceuta they added.

Despite the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma), deploying drones to monitor the control of air polluting emissions from ships, the situation is still occurring they insisted.

This system of monitoring is carried out in collaboration with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the General Directorate of the Merchant Navy.

Verdemar pointed out that ‘apparently’ the EMSA drone, called ‘RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems)’, has returned to the Strait of Gibraltar for the second time to detect the level of sulphur oxide emissions, as reported by

Ships can be seen emitting fumes most days claimed Verdemar

However, Verdemar claimed that on ‘most days’ it is seen how the ships in the Bay of Algeciras exceed the limits set by the Marpol Annex VI agreement.

‘It is easy to see the plumes of smoke coming from ships crossing the Strait of Gibraltar without control’, they stated. These come from ships that ‘pollute the air and, due to the action of the wind, this contamination spreads tens of kilometres inland, increasing local air quality problems’, they added.

As a result of these emissions, the environmental organisation stressed that particles of pollutants such as soot, sulphur and nitrogen oxides ‘harm human health, the environment, and the climate’.

The fumes could cause serious health problems

It explained that particulate matter, for example: ‘is related to serious health problems such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including strokes and cancer, which can lead to premature death’.

In a tweet earlier today, the ecologists wrote: ‘Verdemar Ecologists in Action denounces a toxic cloud in the Strait of Gibraltar from ships. These emissions are causing unbearable episodes, and violating the European Convention on Human Rights that protects the right to life’.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at