The Federation organised its Christmas Buffet Dinner at the Plaza Hotel in Sliema on Friday 20th December 2013.
About sixty members from the various member Associations attended for the event.
More photos of the event can be viewed here.
The Federation took part in various thematic sessions of the First Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea held at the Corinthia San Gorg Hotel between the 27th and 30th November 2013.
The Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea was organized by the GFCM in collaboration with the following partners:
The main objectives of the symposium were:
The symposium was made up of five thematic sessions as follows:
Thematic session I – Current situation of small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea: strategies and methodologies for an effective analysis of the sector
Thematic session II – Management and co-management options for small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea
Thematic session III – Integration of small-scale fisheries in marine protected areas (MPAs)
Thematic session IV – Enhancing small-scale fisheries value chains in the Mediterranean and Black Sea
Thematic session V – Setting up a regional platform to promote the implementation of the voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries
The Federation was invited and attended to a consultation meeting held at the Cottonera Sports Complex on the 8th October 2013.
The Federation took part in Fish Fest 2013 organised by the Fisheries Department at Marsaxlokk on Saturday 14th September 2013. The Federation brought up a stand displaying various fishing equipment, both traditional and modern, used by the recreational fishermen. The items on display were sponsored by various suppliers on the island who specialises in the provision of fishing equipment and tackle.
A selection of lures, fishing feeding mixes, fishing ground baits, a selection of rods and reels, other ancillary equipment such as landing nets, waders and fish live nets were sponsored by Mister Fish of Iklin. Fgura and Gzira.
A selection of safety and rescue equipment such as Life rings, Life Jackets for adults and children, Fog Horns, Flares and various types of fishing lines and lures and fishing reels were sponsored by Ernest Marine Centre of Marsaxlokk.
Angler Centre of Guardamangia sponsored a stand with four heavy duty reels.
Caruana Marine Centre of Zejtun sponsored a stand displaying a Base VHF Radio, GPS / Plotter and Fish Finder which were actually displaying their features in demo mode. They also sponsored a Mobile VHF radio and a set of Navigational Lights.
Audio Images of Birzebbugia and the Ghaqda Sajjieda Dilettanti Bugibba sponsored two televisions. One of the televisions was continually displaying videos of the Federation activities and other fishing related activities and the other television was continually displaying a slideshow of fish found in maltese waters including their maltese names and a vast number of photos taken during the activities organised by the associations forming part of the Federation as well as catches by the various members.
The Ghaqda Sajjieda Dilettanti Gnejna also provided us with an "IMREJKBA" a traditional maltese fishing equipment.
Tables and chairs used on the stand were sponsored by J.J. Ironmongery of Birzebbugia.
Special thanks goes to members from the Birzebbugia, Gzira, Gnejna, Sliema and Bugibba Associations for all the help provided for the setting up of the stand at Fish Fest 2013.
A set of photographs of this event can be seen at http://federazzjoni.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=15099032
Federation Committee members, leisure boat owners, divers and other sea enthusiasts attended an information and training session about the Life+ Project Migrate held at Bank of Valletta’s Head Office in Santa Venera on Thursday 8th August 2013.
Volunteers are being provided with specific training in order to allow them to record sightings effectively and this seminar is the beginning of this training to the general public. The data will be collected over three years and specific scientific surveys will also be carried out through the help of international experts from Spain. . Any information that sea-users can contribute will thus prove invaluable when it comes to monitoring the dolphin and turtle populations and drawing up conservation strategies.
Volunteers can contribute by providing Life+ with sightings of dolphins and turtles when they encounter these animals, including details of position, sea and wind state, and any other relevant information. This information may be sent to Life+ on [email protected] and/or emergency phone number: 99210404
The Federation was invited to attend a stakeholders meeting about the Natura 2000 sites found in the Rdumijiet (Cliffs) between Ramla ta Ghajn Tuffieha and Xaqqa and between Xaqqa and Ponta ta Benghisa. Members of the Federation Committee attended this workshop whiach was held on Tuesday 30th July 2013 at Dar Don Boscao of the Salesians at Dingli.
The site primarily constitutes Lower Coralline Limestone sea-cliffs of varying heights, from low sea-cliffs in the eastern side to high-rising ones to the western side. The area is known for a number of sea caves and valleys. Boulder screes with garrigue slopes are also present.
Some cliffs are often the steep banks of dry coastal valleys which discharge into the sea (e.g. Wied Babu) and are often also backed by extensive (by Maltese standards) garrigue communities and agricultural areas. Dominant species on the cliff ledges include the Shrubby Sea-blite and the National Plant, the Maltese Rock-centaury.
The cliffs and extensive rocky area offer an ideal habitat for two species of sea-bird populations, namely the Cory`s and Yelkouan Shearwaters. In addition, the valleys found within the cliffs are important feeding and resting places for migratory and wintering bird species.
The site is designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) and also falls within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) – Candidate Site of International Importance. It is scheduled as an Area of Ecological Importance / Site of Scientific Importance (AEI / SSI). One of the valleys in the area, Wied Moqbol, has been designated as a Tree Protection Area. In addition, BirdLife Malta has listed the site as one of the Important Bird Areas of EU Importance.
The Federation was invited to, and attended a Press Release held at San Lucjan Tower Marsaxlokk during which the Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes launched an expression of Interest from the private sector for the design, manufacture and operation of a marine hatchery to be set up as a Private Public Partnership in the vicinity of San Lucjan Tower in Marsaxlokk.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that the governmernt would be providing the land and resources for the mentioned project and could possibly also aid in the acquisition of EU Funds.
The project’s site, which will be provided by the government, are two fields just next to Fort San Luċjan. The structures will be built underground, to reduce the visual impact on the fort. The fort will subsequently be vacated by the Malta Aquatic Research Centre according to Mr Galdes, it would then be restored and opened to the public. Mr Galdes said that after 25 years, the time had come for a larger, commercial facility, which would be better suited to meet the sector’s needs. Once it runs at full capacity, the new hatchery is expected to contribute €7 million annually to the economy, directly employs 69 full-time employees and lead to the indirect employment of a further 61.
Dr Robert Vassalo Agius, Head of Aquaculture Malta, also gave some historical and statistical information about the results achieved so far at the present hatchery.
The Federation was invited and attended the final seminar held on the occasion of the closure of the MEDPAN North Project. The project was approved for funding under the MED programme in April 2010 and it was implemented over a period of 3 years. The partnership was led by WWF France. The total budget allocation for MEPA is €142,000, 15% of which was provided by MEPA as co-financing.
Locally, MEPA’s participation in this project resulted in the following deliverables:
Six European countries bordering on the Mediterranean, namely France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Slovenia and Spain took part in the project. Within MEPA, this project was managed by the Ecosystems Management Unit, with assistance from the EU & Multilateral Affairs Unit.
The closing seminar was held at the Palace Hotel in Sliema on Wednesdat 26th June 2013.
More information about the MedPAN North Project can be found at http://medpan.org/en/mnp
The Federation was invited to attend a Public Meeting organised by Natura 2000 Malta during which workshop were discussed the Natura 2000 sites that fall within the Mellieha locality. Members from the Federation committee attended this workshop which was held on Wednesday 29th May 2013 at the Mellieha Primary school at 17:30 hrs.
The event included an exhibition on the management planning process for Natura 2000 sites, discussions, and interactive displays that allowed participants to put forward their views and comments on the Natura 2000 sites within the locality of Mellieha.
The Natura 2000 sites in Mellieħa are:
- L-Inħawi tar-Ramla tat-Torri u tal-Irdum tal-Madonna
- L-Inħawi tal-Għadira
- L-Inħawi tal-Imġiebaħ u tal-Miġnuna
- Il-Gżejjer ta’ Selmunett
- Wied il-Miżieb
- Rdumijiet ta’ Malta: Ramla taċ-Ċirkewwa sar-Ramla tal-Mixquqa
The Federation held its 2013 Annual General Meeting at the Glormu Cassar Hall of the Excelsior Hotel today the 5th of May 2013. This year’s AGM was open to ALL RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN including those who are not members of any of the Associations affiliated to the Federation. The Federation also invited the administrators of the Malta Fishing Forum, the Kingfisher Sport Fishing Association, the National Sport Federation Angling Malta, the Blue Sea Sport Angling Club and also the Malta Skin Divers Club. Inspite of the heavily advertised event, on the Federation Website, On the Federation’s Facebook Page, the Malta Fishing Forum Website and local printed Media, it is to be noted that regrettably the event was not very well attended.
The Federation was honoured by the presence of the Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Roderick Galdes and the newly appointed Fisheries Director General Dr Andreina Fenech Farrugia. Also present were two high ranking officials from the Fisheries Control Directorate Mr Frans Caruana and Mr Michael Mifsud.
The Federation President opened the meeting with a short introduction. The Parliamentary Secretary Mr Roderick Galdes then addressed those present, highlighting his views on the future of Fishing in Malta. He mentioned the challenges being faced and said that the proposed regulations for recreational fishing prepared by the sub committee of the fisheries board would be further evaluated and discussed by all the interested parties before actually being implemented.
Mr Nick Palmer Morewood from the Malta Fishing Forum highlighted that the Recreational Sector in Malta heavily contributes to the Boat Building Industry, Boat Importers and Engine Dealers, Marine Chandlers, Yard Storage Service, Insurance, Maintenance Services, Marine Electronics, Tackle Shops and all associated services, and that given the reduction in the commercial fishing fleet we now generate more income and spend more money than Commercial Fishers (always excluding Tuna Farming). This was unanimously agreed by the panel and I strongly highlighted that the Recreational Sector must therefore be given its due attention and importance
Unfortunately Mr Galdes had to leave after a while due to other commitments he had. The newly appointed Fisheries Director and the two FCD officials stayed on till the very end of the meeting.
The Federation Secretary then read the minutes of the last Annual General Meeting and also the Administrative Report for the year highlighting the various activities, meetings, conferences, seminars and social events attended to by the Federation. The minutes for last year’s Annual General Meeting were approved and seconded by members on the floor.
The Federation Treasurer then read the Financial Report for the year and this was also approved by members present on the floor.
Dr Joe Carabott Damato then read out the proposed new regulations and the floor was invited for their input, suggestions and discussions. Most of the new regulations seemed to be approved by the floor as there were no comments on them. Mr Joe Baldacchino from the Malta Fishing Forum highly criticised the Fisheries Control Directorate for suggesting Tracking Systems on all recreational Fishermen, suggesting the introduction of fishing zone for recreational fishermen and limitations in the number of days recreational fishermen are entitled to go out fishing. He strongly objected to the inclusion of these clauses in the Report for the proposed regulations. He also objected to the fact that long lines were being allowed for recreational fishermen as he said that the Malta Fishing Forum was against these being allowed. Another member from the floor, Jonathan, also argued that Deep Water long lines should not be limited to the 100 fathom limit. Dr Carabott highlighted the efforts put in by the Federation to acquire this depth as originally the representative of the commercial fishermen on the sub committee only wanted a limit of 50 metres. He further highlighted that recreational fishermen could use single lines with a number of hooks (hjut or xolfa) without any limits being involved.
Another point that cropped up was the booklet being issued with the renewals of the MFC permits and the inclusion of permitted fishing tackle and equipment on these same booklets. Dr. Carabott Damato explained and insisted that the booklet being issued had nothing to do with the proposed regulations as these were still at a discussion level and have not been implemented yet.
Mr Nick Palmer from the Malta Fishing Forum suggested that the permit for recreational fishing should be issued to the individual and not to the fishing vessel. He backed up this argument by saying that this was what was done in other Countries (mentioning Italy), the United Stated and also Australia.
Another member from the floor also asked about the fact that a representative of the commercial fishermen was part of the sub committee when this committee was proposing regulations for the recreational sector.
The regulations suggested for Blue Fin Tuna Fishing licences for recreational fishermen also formed an active part of the discussions. Main objections to these regulations included the fact that permit holders were obliged to inform Fisheries Control Directorate when going out fishing (even not for Blue Fin Tuna), the low quota allocated to recreational fishermen and the limited number of designated landing points for Blue Fin Tuna. The newly appointed Director said that the designated landing points for Blue Fin Tuna was an ICCAT requirement and the Department did not have the necessary resources to man more landing points on a 24/7 basis. The FCD officials confirmed that permit holders need not inform the Directorate when recreational fishermen were taking out their families for a swim or when they were not carrying on board the tackle considered to be tackle for Blue Fin Tuna fishing (line over 160 and the particular hook used for BFT fishing). As regards the quota allowed it was highlighted that the amount would be reconsidered anew next year if the reported catch this year improved over last year’s reported catch.
The meeting ended shortly before noon.
More photos available here.
Today the 25 th April 2013, members of the Federation Committee attended a meeting with representatives of the Fisheries Control Division to further discuss the regulations attached to the licences for Blue Fin Tuna Fishing by recreational fishermen between 16th June 2013 and 14th October 2013. Also present for the meeting there was a representative from the Malta Fishing Forum. It was agreed that the following regulations will apply.
The Federation will be holding its Annual General Meeting very shortly. The date, time and venue will be advised in the next few days.
This year the Annual General Meeting will be open to ALL RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN irrespective of whether they are members of any of our member associations or not. During this meeting the Federation will discuss the proposed regulations for recreational fishermen suggested by the sub committee of the Fisheries Board appointed in October 2012. The report prepared by this sub committee was presented to the Director of Fisheries in the middle of March so that it will be further discussed by the Fisheries Board once this is again reappointed.
The Federation Executive Committee Members paid a courtesy visit to the Hon. Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Mr Roderick Galdes B.Plan., M.A.(ISSS.), M.A.C.P., M.P on Tuesday 26th March 2013. The Federation congratulated the parliamentary secretary on his appointment.
On Monday 25th March 2013 Federation representatives attended a meeting with Fisheries Control Officials regarding Blue Fin Tuna Recreational licences for 2013.
For better control of Blue Fin Tuna catches, the Fisheries Control Department is working on the following new system for Recreational Blue Fin Tuna licence.
Alongi, pastardella, dolphin fish (lampuka) and allied species do not fall under this licence and regulations.
Conditions of Licence:
The Federation will be attending further meetings with the Fishing Control Directorate once final dates have been set by the Fishing Directorate.
The Federation was invited and attended a stakeholder’s meeting of the launch of the Life+ Migrate Project, which was held at the Excelsior Hotel on the 12th February 2013.
The research programme is to be carried out on the bottlenose dolphin and the loggerhead turtle in a three-year, €1 million project that aims to conserve the two species. The extensive study will be undertaken by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.
Comprehensive data regarding these threatened species’ behavioural patterns and migratory routes is not readily available. Studies at sea are very expensive, laborious and require specialised equipment.
The funding for the study comes from this year’s allocation under the EU’s environment fund, known as LIFE+ Nature, and it is being co-financed by the Ministry for the Environment and Bank of Valletta. Mepa has also teamed up with Kai Marine Services, a Spanish marine conservation firm, which will contribute both financially and in terms of expertise.
Loggerhead turtles and of the bottlenose dolphins are protected by the EU legislation (the EC Habitats Directive) as well as numerous other multilateral agreements to which Malta is a party. In order to adequately protect these species, we first have to understand their status and gather knowledge on the type of habitat that may be essential for them, so that we can also protect their habitats, if present.
At the time being, there is a lack of comprehensive information regarding these species and any essential habitats in Malta; the project aims to try to close these knowledge gaps as much as possible, so as to find out more about their conservation status and any important areas for the continuation of their life cycle. The project should lead to the identification of such areas as potential feeding areas or important migratory routes, if these are found to be present, and the protection of such important sites.
More specifically the targets of this project are:
Although the main target species are those mentioned, any other important species which will be encountered through out the project will also be recorded.
Representatives from the Federation as well as representatives from some individual associations forming part of the Federation were invited and attended a stakeholders meeting on the Management Plans now being prepared for Natura 2000 Terrestial Sites organised by MEPA. This meeting was held at the MEUSAC Offices in Valletta on the 7th February 2013. This meeting was one of a series of meetings currently being organised for the different stakeholders that might be interested in putting in their input for these management plans.
MEPA has contracted a consortium made up from foreign company Epsilon International SA and local company ADI Associates as well as local and international experts to formulate management plans / legislative frameworks for all Natura 2000 terrestrial sites in Malta. (34 sites in all comprising circa 42 square kilometres.) This project which is being partly being funded by EU funds will not address any of the other five marine Natura 2000 sites. The consortium will raise a media awareness campaign aimed at improving recognition of the Natura 2000 sites among the general public. EMCS has been appointed as Media Campaign organiser
The meeting was opened by Ms Nadia Suda Lanzon from MEPA. Then Mr Adrian Mallia from ADI Associates gave a detailed presentation of the purpose of this project as well as the way they intend to bring all the interested stakeholders on board. He also informed the stakeholders present that further meetings will be held even to discuss particular sites. Mr Kurt Formosa, from MEUSAC, also addressed the stakeholders present.
After the presentation various points were raised by the stakeholders present. One of the main points brought up was how did MEPA intend to enforce these management plans once these have been approved. Other stake holders highlighted problems that they were encountering during the carrying out of their activities such as eco tours, cliff climbing and tours to Natura 2000 sites.