Spain's foreign ministry on Thursday summoned Britain's ambassador in Madrid to register a formal complaint about recent frictions in the waters around Gibraltar, the British Crown Colony at the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula.

Giles Paxman was called in before the British Foreign Office's summons to the Spanish envoy in London, officials here told Efe.

The British government expressed displeasure about "incursions" by Spanish vessels boats in Gibraltarian waters.

Paxman was told in Madrid, meanwhile, that "Spanish fishermen will continue fishing in Spanish waters," the foreign ministry said.

The administration in Gibraltar issued statements on Nov. 7 and Nov. 13 to denounce the presence of Spanish navy ships in waters surrounding The Rock.

Madrid said the naval vessels were on "routine" patrols in Spanish waters.

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo decided in August to abrogate an accord that allowed Spanish fishing boats to operate in waters near the British Crown Colony.

Spain refuses to recognize the Gibraltarian government's authority beyond the bounds set forth in the Treaty of Utrecht, the 1713 accord that is the basis for Britain's claim to sovereignty over the Rock.

The pact limits British maritime control to the port of Gibraltar, Madrid says.

Gibraltar is a territory of 5.5 square kilometers (2.1 square miles) at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. It has been held by Britain since 1704 and became a British Crown Colony in 1713 in accord with the Treaty of Utrecht. EFE