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 2013.

Federation Xmas Buffet Dinner 2013.

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.

First Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

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:

  • FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department 
  • FAO regional projects: AdriaMed, CopeMed II, EastMed, MedSudMed;
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Mediterranean Programme;
  • MedPAN network of marine protected area managers in the Mediterranean
  • the Bari Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (MAI Bari) of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM)


Symposium Objectives


The main objectives of the symposium were:

  1. to foster and renew political commitment towards small-scale fisheries
  2. to agree upon a possible roadmap for the gradual implementation of tasks in support to the sustainable development of small-scale fisheries
  3. to discuss the set-up of a regional cooperation project on small-scale fisheries
  4. to lay the foundations for a platform where stakeholders could be directly involved and participate in the management of small-scale fisheries


Thematic Sessions

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

  1. Stocktaking of existing information and data on small-scale fisheries to assess their potential in production and socio-economic terms
  2. Identification of key elements directly or indirectly linked to small-scale fisheries for planning and management purposes
  3. Identification of existing data and information gaps at different levels (biological, socio-economic, environmental)
  4. Definition of common methodologies to monitor the regular collection of relevant data


Thematic session II – Management and co-management options for small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea

  1. Management and co-management: actual co-management versus participatory advisory schemes
  2. Overview of traditional fisheries management schemes implemented by stakeholders in the region
  3. Transferring executive management powers from stakeholders to State agencies: recent developments
  4. Contemporary schemes including co-management elements in the field of fisheries
  5. Fishers, fisheries agencies, scientists and civil society as co-managers: who should qualify to co-manage?
  6. A legal framework for fisheries co-management: how does co-management fit in national and regional legal frameworks?
  7. Relevant options for co-management: area-based management; access limitation; limitation of fishing opportunities; time/area management; monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS)
  8. Functioning of co-management committees (e.g. the case of the co-management committee of the Catalan sand-eel fishery)
  9. Identification of capacity-building needs for fisheries co-management


Thematic session III – Integration of small-scale fisheries in marine protected areas (MPAs)

  1. Overview of different types of MPAs in the GFCM area: from fisheries management tools to conservation and multipurpose MPAs
  2. Assessing of MPAs impacts on small-scale fisheries
  3. Involving small-scale fishers in MPAs: from participation to co-management
  4. Promotion of small-scale fisheries and potential of reconversion in and around MPAs


Thematic session IV – Enhancing small-scale fisheries value chains in the Mediterranean and Black Sea

  1. Outline of the small-scale fisheries sector, its value chains and economic accounts in the light of the current economic crisis
  2. Main components of local, national and international value chains related to small-scale fisheries production
  3. Costs and earnings analysis of small-scale fisheries and reasons for differences
  4. Analysis of small-scale fisheries production through the value chain method
  5. Investing in quality improvement: quality of life of small-scale fishers, etc.
  6. Assessing existing structural and community needs and socio-economic approaches towards diversification and multi-functionality
  7. Valorization of the main small-scale fisheries production
  8. Innovative measures to enhance production and market: capacity-building and institutional strengthening
  9. Options to maximize the price of small-scale fisheries catches at time of sale, including specific certification requirements


Thematic session V – Setting up a regional platform to promote the implementation of the voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries

  1. Challenges and opportunities for the small-scale fisheries sector in the Mediterranean and Black Sea
  2. Human rights-based approach: current situation and needs in terms of access to basic economic, social and cultural rights
  3. Social and economic development for fishers, fish workers and fishing communities to enhance the sustainability of small-scale fisheries, including the post-harvest sector, and their contribution to food security and poverty alleviation
  4. Review of national experiences in terms of collective action and organizations (e.g. fishers cooperatives and associations) and how to strengthen them, including through capacity development and the creation of regional or sub-regional associations

Consultation Meeting re new Format for National Sports Awards.

​The Federation was invited and attended to a consultation meeting held at the Cottonera Sports Complex on the 8th October 2013.

​An innovative approach is needed to promote sport activity on these islands. The Sports Awards will be the first event in which this approach will be adopted to reflect the need of all sports organisations both popular and minor sports. This was stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Stefan Buontempo during a consultation meetin which was attended by over 50 sports organisations representing approximately 40,000 sportsmen. The meeting was held by the commission tasked with overhauling the sports awards that is organised annually by the KMS.

Sports Awards should be the means by which society shows its appreciation to athletes, coaches, sports administrators and those involved in sports for the work they are doing with our society. The ultimate aim is to create a sense of ownership with this event among sports organisations and to make sure that there is a good selection based on transparent criteria that awards the commitment of athletes irrespective of their sport discipline.

Parliamentary Secretary Buontempo said that the work of administrators, athletes, referees and coaches is priceless as through their dedication and personal sacrifice are attracting more people to practice sport. Sport Activity leads to a healthier society and is a vital tool in addressing the obesity problem.

The meeting was addressed by Paul Stoner who is heading the commission that is tasked with coordinating the awards ceremony. Mr Stoner presented the proposals that are being put forward by the commission.

Sports organisations were encouraged to forward their ideas by filling in a questionnaire prepared for this purpose. After receiving recommendations a series of workshops will be held to discuss the way forward.

The questionnaire can be obtained from the offices of the Kunsill Malti għall-Isport by phoning 22036000 or by e-mail [email protected] The questionnaire has to be submitted by not later than noon on Friday 25th October.

Fish Fest 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

Life+ Migrate Project Seminar held at B.O.V. Head Office.

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.

LIFE+ Migrate Project aims to carry out studies on the population of the bottlenose dolphin (id-denfil ta’ geddumu qasir) and the loggerhead turtle (il-fekruna tal-bahar) within Maltese waters and the type of local habitat which may be essential for their survival.  Bank of Valletta has committed its support to this project and is urging the public to actively participate to make this project a success

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

Stakeholder Workshop - Rdumijiet ta' Malta:Ir-Ramla ta’ Għajn Tuffieħa sax-Xaqqa and Mi x-Xaqqa sal-Ponta ta’ Bengħisa.

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.

Launching of an Expression of Interest for Private Public Partnership for the design, manufacture and operation of a marine hatchery.

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.

Final Seminar organised by MEPA re the MEDPAN NORTH PROJECT ending June 2013.

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:

  • A report on marine invasive species and MPAs in Malta;
  • A monitoring study to establish the growth rate of Pinna Nobilis at the Rdum il-Majjiesa MPA;
  • An interpretation manual for Natura 2000 sites in Malta;
  • A study which identifies the financing requirements for Natura 2000 sites in Malta, including recommendations for self-financing options;
  • The implementation of two underwater trails at the Rdum Il-Majjiesa MPA;
  • Communication and awareness measures including workshops, and other publicity material.

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

Natura 2000 Maltaa Workshop  / Public Meeting at Mellieha.

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

Federation Annual General Meeting 2013 held on 5th May 2013.

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.

Federation Meeting with Fisheries Control Division Officials re Blue Fin Tuna Licence for Recreational Fishermen for 2013.

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.

  1. Applications will be accepted up to 26th April 2013 at 15:00 hrs.
  2. To date between 150 and 160 applications have been received.
  3. All applications received will be accepted.
  4. Total Quota allowed for Recreational Fishermen this year is 500 Kgs.
  5. License valid between 16th June 2013 and 14th October 2013 unless allowed quota has been caught prior to the 14th October 2013. If allowed quota is caught before the 14th October, the licence for BFT fishing is no longer valid. (The district and weekly license mentioned by FCD during our last meeting and to which the Federation had objected has been dropped.)
  6. Landing of fish (TUNA) can only be done at designated ports i.e.  Mgarr (Gozo), Marfa, Valletta, Marsaxlokk. Fisheries Control Division Officials are still entitled to carry out any boat inspections they may deem fit.
  7. Anyone catching a Tuna must notify Fisheries Control Division at least two hours before landing the fish.
  8. No landing of fish is allowed between 23.00 hrs to 02.00 hrs.
  9. During the license period, each Tuna License holder must inform Fisheries Control Division of departure and return to port, irrespective of the type of fishing he is going out for. Sending an SMS will suffice.
  10. Fishing line, single or pair, exceeding 160mm overall will be considered as Tuna gear. This applies only for the terminal end. Hand line to beginning of terminal end can be of any size or nature. (This was also a Federation request during our last meeting. Before 110mm and single line through out was being considered)
  11. The tuna hook is considered as Tuna gear.
  12. Only Tuna licensed fisherman can hold aboard the above gear.
  13. Only one Tuna per trip.
  14. Attempts by the Federation to increase the allowed quota for this year were unsuccessful. If this year there is an increase in registered catches, then the quota can be revised next year. In this case both the Federation and MFF representative suggested the 1500 kgs allowed last year. Although this request was noted no definite assurance was given by FCD officials.
  15. Any licence holder caught infringing any of the regulations will have his licence for 2013 immediately revoked and will also not be allowed to apply for a BFT Liicence next year.

Federation Attends Stakeholders Meeting re Underwater Trail at Rdum Majjesa Marine Protected Area.

The Federation was invited to a second stakeholders meeting re the proposed underwater trail at Rdum Majjesa Marine Protected Area. A MEPA representative, Mr. Christopher Cousin, opened the meeting. ADI Associates and Ecoserve presented the proposed trail with justifications and recommendations as appropriate, to the various stakeholders present.  The Federation was represented by Mr.Frank Abela and Dr. Joe Carabott Damato as well as by Mr. Reno Falzon and Mr. Victor Camilleri who were representing the Gnejna Association.  The stakeholders meeting was held at the Excelsior Hotel on Wednesday 3rd April 2013.

The stakeholders were informed that whereas at first the underwater trail proposed was targeted for divers and snorkelers, this is now being proposed for snorkelers only, due to various difficulties encountered by divers such as easy access to the site and the distance from the various divers clubs, the nearest of which are situated at Cirkewwa.

During the meeting the stakeholders were shown a video that showed the various habitats that are included along the proposed water trail.  Various stakeholders present put in various ideas as to how the trail could be managed and marketed.

Federation Annual General Meeting Open to ALL RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN.

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.

Courtesy Visit by the Federation Executive Committee Members to Hon. Roderick Galdes.

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.

2013 Blue Fin Tuna Fishing Licences for Recreational Fishermen.

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.


  1. Applications will open around the second week of April for 15 days.
  2. Late applications will not be accepted.
  3. All recreational vessels can apply.
  4. All valid applications will be accepted.
  5. Season for Recreational Fishermen starts on 16th June up to 16th October 2013.
  6. All accepted applicants will be grouped in three or four districts (base ports) according to number of applicants.
  7. Each district will be licensed a number of weeks, e.g. with three districts, each district will have five to six weeks, spread over the period from 16 June to 16 October.

Conditions of Licence:

  1. A line above 110 mm and specific tuna hook is considered as Tuna gear.
  2. Such a gear is not allowed on board outside licenced weeks during the period.
  3. One Tuna per trip
  4. All accepted applicants going out fishing must inform fisheries control of departure and return to port during the whole period between 16th June 2013 and 16th October 2013, even if they are not going out fishing for Blue Fin Tuna.
  5. Based on past years reported blue fin tuna catches by licensed recreational fishermen, this year the quota stands at 500 kilos.
  6. If the above quota is reached, the season for recreational fishermen will be closed at that time even if it is prior to the 16th October.
  7. The minimum allowable catch size remains at 30Kilos and/or 115cm length.
  8. Tuna catches cannot be commercialized but used for personal consumption or for charity.

The Federation will be attending further meetings with the Fishing Control Directorate once final dates have been set by the Fishing Directorate.

Annual General Meeting of the Fondazzjoni San Pietru.

he Federation was invited to and attended the Annual General Meeting of the Fondazzjoni San Pietru held  on the 23rd February 2013.  The Federation was represented by the President Mr. Frank Abela, the Secretary Dr Joe Carabott Damato and Mr Tony Cauchi the federation treasurer. 

A mass was held at the chapel of the Franciscan Sisters in Balzan followed by the actual Annual General Meeting of the foundation held at the offices of Notaries Spiteri & Spiteri also in Balzan.

A small reeption was held after the meeting came to an end.

Campaign for the Promotion of Local Fish Consumption.

The Federation was invited to and attended  the launch of the Promotion for local Fish Consumption campaign held by the Ministry of Resources and Rural Affairs held at the Portomaso Suite of the Hilton Hotel held on Friday 22nd February 2013.

The campaign intends to promote the consumption of fish which so far is not so popular with local consumers.  The fish which was prepared by the Hilton Staff included the White Skate (Hamiema) Chub Mackerel (Kavalli), Scabbard Fish (Cintorin) and Smooth Hound (Mazzola).

There were also stands presenting local products from Frott Artna, Koperattiva ta Min Irabbi il-Majjal and local cheeslets and cheese manufacturers.

Launch of Life+ Migrate Project.

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.

Project Goals 
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:

  1. To carry out desk studies to identify any potential hotspots through the use of GIS, mapping essential data such as habitats, temperature, salinity, bathymetry, currents, and others. The data will be analysed in order to identify potential areas for consideration;
  2. To verify these areas identified as potential hotspots, through the use of boat-based observations. These will be carried out periodically. Apart from the official boat-based survey carried out by the coordinating beneficiary, the project also aims to involve interested stakeholders; fishermen, leisure-craft owners, etc, on a voluntary basis. The volunteers will be provided with training in order to allow them to record sightings effectively. These boat-based observations will help to gather more data, but also to market the project and increase its visibility;
  3. To assess the Conservation Status of Tursiops truncatus and Caretta caretta and create baselines for the assessment of trends;
  4. If adequate sites are found, they will be anlaysed and submitted for protection.
  5. To carry out awareness-raising and education efforts through the use of a project website and electronic newsletter, as well as information material including brochures and a short video. The project website will be regularly updated to ensure that interested parties are kept abreast of the developments of the project. The electronic newsletter will serve to disseminate particularly significant progress achieved, and the brochures and short video will contain more general information about the project. The project will also aim to feature on popular TV programmes, radio programmes, and in newspapers and magazines. The involvement of volunteers recording sightings and observations is also expected to serve as a significant awareness-raising measure.

Although the main target species are those mentioned, any other important species which will be encountered through out the project will also be recorded. 

Natura 2000 Sites Management Plans Meeting with Stakeholders held on 7th February 2013.

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.