Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta

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A summary of the various activities and meetings held or attended to by the Federation during 2012.

Federation Committe Meeting with ADI Assocoates,  Ecoserve and MEPA Representatives.

Federation Committee members met representatives from ADI Associates and Ecoserve who have been awarded the tender for the setting up of an Underwater Trail in the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Rdum Majjiesa to Ras ir-Raħeb.  The Federation has put in its input as an interested stakeholder. A MEPA representative was also present for the meeting. Amongst the committee members were members from the Gnejna Association.  The meeting was held at the Cottonera Sports Complex on the 30th October 2012.

The project aims to set up Malta's first underwater trail, which can become a pilot project for similar interventions in other marine areas. The trail will serve an educational purpose, providing interesting information on the underwaterfeatures to interested snorkelers and SCUBA divers.

The MPA is designated as a Site of Community Interest (SCI) under the EU Habitats Directive. This was the first Maltese marine area to form part of the Natura 2000 Network. Apart from hosting various natural habitats and species, this MPA is also popular for recreational activities including swimming, diving and snorkelling. Diving activities, including snorkelling, need to be directed away from particularly sensitive areas to other, more resilient areas which still offer an interesting underwater experience. This will minimise the impacts on the marine environment.

This project is an initiative of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority and is financed by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) at a co-financing rate of 85% EU Funds; 15% National Funds.

Workshop by MRRA held on the 16th October 2012 at Mount St Joseph .

The Federation attended a workshop organised by Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd and E.M.C.S. Malta.  These two companies have been appointed by the Ministry of Resources and Rural Affairs (M.R.R.A.) to help in the process of applying for European Funds for the Fishing Industry for the period 2014 – 2020.  The panel addressing the workshop was made up of Mr Tim Huntington (Poseidon Aquatics Resource Management Ltd), Mr. Ramon Muscat (E.M.C.S.), Mr. Paul Fenech Gonzi (M.R.R.A.) and Ms. Alicia Said (M.R.R.A.).

During the workshop a Strength, Weaknesses. Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis for the various sectors of the fishing industry in Malta was presented to the workshop participants.  This initial analysis was the result of various meetings held between the 8th and 15th October 2012 with the major stakeholders of the Industry in Malta.  The main reason for this workshop was for this initial analysis to be further updated with the input from all the stakeholders that were invited to this workshop.

A SWOT analysis was presented for the four main types of fishing, namely Long liners, Trawlers, Artisan Boats and Recreation fishing.  A discussion followed after the SWOT analysis was presented for all these types of fishing.

The speakers then followed with a SWOT analysis on Aquaculture in Malta.  There was a discussion about the analysis presented once the speakers had finished their analysis about this sector.

The meeting then followed with a SWOT analysis of the Fishing resources and Fishing Management in Malta.  Again this was followed by discussions from the floor once the SWOT analysis had been presented by the speakers.

The speakers then explained the main characteristic of the European Fishing Fund for the period 2014 – 2020.

The Federation asked for a copy of the Meeting’s presentation once this has been updated with the input that came from the floor.  A copy of the presentation can be viewed or downloaded from here.

Meeting with Consultants from Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd.

On the 8th October 2012 the federation exeutive committee members met with consultants from Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd (P.A.R.M.) at the Cottonera Sports Complex.  These consultants have been appointed by the Ministry of Resources and Rural Affairs to help in the preparation of EU Maritime  and Fisheries programs for the period 2014 – 2020.  Mr  Frank Abela (President),  Dr. Joe Carabott Damato(Secretary) and Mr Tony Cauchi  (Treasurer) from the Federation met Mr Rod Cappell amd Mr Tim Huntigton from P.A.R.M. Ltd.

P.A.R.M. Ltd is a U.K. company which specialises in the promotion of sustainable fishing as well as is highly experienced in EU Legislation.  P.A.R.M will be conducting an analysis of the Fishing Industry in Malta and how it is being managed, by meeting organisations and people from the various sectors of the local fishing community.  At the end of this exercise, which is being held between the 8th and the 16th October 2012, P.A.R.M. will be presenting their strategic recommendations for the continued sustainability of the local fishing industry.  These conclusions and recommendations will be presented  during a workshop which the consultants from P.A.R.M. will be holding on the 16th October 2012, after having met the key players from the local fishing industry.

Federation Big Game Fishing Competition 2012 Award Ceremony.  (Click here to view all photos.)

The award ceremony for the winners of the Federation Amateur Big Game Fishing Competition 2012 was held at the Cottonera Sports Complex on Saturday 28th July 2012.

The prizes for the competition were made up of 3 Festina Watches, 3 Garmin GPS e Trex 10, Lowrance Elite 4m Plotter, 2 Lineaeffe GCT 30 Reel and 5’6’’ Rod, Okuma SD 45L Reel, Epoxy resin 85% carbon Rod, Osculati Wheel Steering, €150 Voucher, 3 lures, landing net, 2 Phoenicia complimentary Meal Vouchers for two, 2 Virtu Ferries complimentary Tickets for 2 persons each and 2 Parda men’s wear vouchers each worth €50. There were also five trophies, three trophies for the first three overall winners and also a trophy each for the participant who caught the biggest Alunga (Albacore Tuna) and the participant who caught the biggest other Fish.

The president of the Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta opened the evening with a short speech mentioning the various higlights of the organisation of the competition. He also mentioned the amount of work done by all the organising committee and all the helpers involved, especially the dedication shown by the competition director Dr. Joe Carabott Damato. The president also thanked the Malta Fishing Forun and the Kingfisher Sport Fishing Association Malta for all the help given to promote the event on their websites. It was also mentioned that the last part of this year’s competition was given good exposure by two of the main local television stations.

Dr Joe Carabott Damato, the Federation Secretary and Competition Director, then followed with a short speech whereby he thanked all the sponsors and other companies / shop outlets / individuals who donated prizes and donations towards the event. He also thanked all the participants who took part in the competition as well as all the helpers who gave all the necessary help whenever this was asked for. He also thanked the Kunsill Malti ghall-isport for their donation and also for making the Multi Purpose Hall of the Cottonera Sport Complex available to the Federation on two occasions and all this without any charge.

The presentation of the prizes then followed. The participant who caught the biggest number of fish was presented with the trophy and he also chose a fish plotter as prize. The participant who caught the biggest alunga was then presented with a trophy and he chose one of the Festina watches as a prize. The winner of the biggest other fish was then presented with a trophy and also a prize. Prizes and trophies were then given to the second and third placings overall. Then prizes to the participants who placed up to the twentieth position were given.

The president and secretary of the Federation then presented a cheque for €6000 to Notary Tonio Spiteri, the president of the Fondazzjoni San Pietru, who thanked the Federation for having organised the competition in aid of the Fondazzjoni San Pietru. He also thanked all the sponsors and all the companies / shop outlets / individuals who helped to make the event a success. He also thanked all the helpers for their dedicated input.

Members from the Fondazzjoni San Pietru then presented a memento to the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Federation. This was a gesture that was highly appreciated by the Federation Committee.

The evening then proceeded with a small reception for all those present. This was held at the Bar Area of the Cottonera Sports Complex and the adjoining terrace.

Federation Amateur Big Game Fishing Competition 2012  ( Click  here  to view all photos. )

The Federation organised the Federation Amateur Big Game Fishing Competition 2012 on the 8th July 2012.  This competition, locally known as Kompetizzjoni ghall- Alungi (Fishing Competition for Albacore Tuna), has recently became an annual event.  Originally this competition was started by the late Alfred Bonavia who was the president of the Ghaqda Komunitarja tas-Sajd Marsamxett and also the first president of the Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta.  After not having been organised for a number of years, the Malta Fishing Forum started to organise the competition again.  Last year the MFF invited the Federation to help in the organisation of the competition which was held in aid of Puttinu Cares Foundation, and a cheque for €15,000 was presented to Puttinu Cares during the award ceremony.  This year the MFF could not organise the competition due to family reasons, and therefore the Federation decided to organise the competition itself.  This year's event was held in aid of the St. Peter Foundation, a local NGO which buys fish at favourable prices, processes it into fish portions and distributes these portions to about 30 charitable institutions and old age homes on a monthly basis.

The number of participants in this year's event amounted to 61 boats with about 200 crew members.  The mostly sought area for fishing is an area covering about 600 square miles in the south west of the island, an area further out of the small island of Filfla.  There were two departure points for the boats, with about 51 boats starting off from just outside Birzebbuga port and another 10 boats starting off from Gnejna bay.  The boats were divided into five groups according to their maximum speed.  Vetting of the boats took place between 03:15 hrs hrs and 04:15 hrs.  The boats were then taken out to the departure point just outside Birzebbuga port by a supporting boat for each group,  the slowest boats being taken out first.  All groups had started off on the competition by 05:30 am.  The permissible fish for the competition were Albacore Tuna,  Blue Fin Tuna (up to one per boat and a maximum total of 200 kilos for the competition, with each tuna weighing at least 30 kilos or being at least 115 cm in length), swordfish weighing at least 10 kilos, Skipjack Tuna. Pastardella and Lampuki (Dolphin Fish / Dorado).  Winners were judged firstly on the number of fish caught with the total weight being taken into consideration for those winners having the same number of fish.  There was also a prize for the biggest Alunga (Albacore Tuna) and also a prize for the biggest other fish.

The weather proved to be favourable with a maximum wind speed of about six knots.  The catches were very good with a total of 161 fish caught having a total weight of just under 1300 kilos.  The biggest fish caught was a blue fin tuna with the biggest albacore tuna weighing 14.4 kilos.  There were two pasterdella fish caught as well as a Kubrita (Little Tuna).  The winner managed to catch 12 fish weighing a total of 103.3 kilos. 

Federation Amateur Big Game Fishing Competition 2012 Pre Tournament Briefing.  (Click here to view all Photos)

The Pre Tournament Briefing for all those who are participating in the Federation Amateur Big Game Fishing Competition 2012, was held on the 3rd July 2012 at 19:00 Hrs at the Multi Purpose Hall of the Cottonera Sports Complex.

The president of the Federation opened the meeting by thanking all those present for their participation, thus helping to keep this annual event ongoing and at the same time also helping the Federation achieve its philanthropic aim of helping Fondazzjoni San Pietru. The president also thanked all sponsors and also all those individuals and organisations that donated towards this competition.

The participants were then addressed by Captain R. Gabriele MNI MCIT, the official Security Officer of this competition. Captain Gabriele explained and went through all the security and safety points that are to be followed at all times during the event.

The Tournament Director then went through and explained the regulations of the competition as well as went through a powerpoint presentation explaining the logistics and procedures to be followed on the day of the competition.

All participants then completed their official registration, including payment according to the number of crew members and were handed the vouchers donated by Mr Fish and also given the competition ID.

Federation Meeting with Malta Tourism Authority about Malta Master Diving Plan.

The Federation had a meeting with the Malta Tourism Authority on the 26th June 2012 to discuss the Malta Master Diving Plan

prepared by ADI Associates for the MTA. Present for the meeting were Mr Oliver Farrugia who was accompanied by another MTA Official and a representative from ADI Associates (on behalf of the MTA) and the Federation President and the Federation Secretary (on behalf of the Federation).

The MTA representatives emphasised the fact that the MTA cannot impose any new regulations on fishermen. The MTA can only make suggestions to the various authorities such as MEPA, Transport Malta and the Fisheries Department, who will then decide whether any new regulations are imposed or not.

The part of the Master Diving Plan that is of greatest interest to fishermen are Chapter 3 Objective 3 (pages 54 – 58) and Chapter 4 – Implementation Priorities and Action Plan (Pages 65 – 68).

They also assured us that should any new regulations are to be implemented, ADI made it clear in their report that all stakeholders are consulted including the Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta.(Chapter 4 of the Malta Master Diving Plan).

The Federation was also given a digital copy of the Master Diving Plan and this copy has been uploaded onto the Federation Website. This can be viewed and downloaded from ( http://federazzjoni.webs.com/apps/documents )

Meeting with the EU Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Ms Maria Damanaki. 

EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki visited Malta to discuss maritime policy issues and the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy with the Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Ministers Pullicino, Gatt, De Marco, Members of Parliament and local stakeholders.

The Federation was invited to attend a meeting with Ms Maria Damanaki, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries on the 14th June 2012. The meeting was attended by all local Fisheries stakeholders. These included the representatives of both Fishermen Cooperatives, representative from the Acquaculture sector and Non Government Organistions.

During the meeting the attendees put forward their concerns to the Commissioner and explained the particular difficulties which they are presently experiencing.