Federation Committee members were invited and attended a seminar about Trawling Gear Selectivity research. The seminar was organised by the Fisheries Department and held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre on the 18th December 2018.
Dennis Callejja gave a short description of the scientific study. The Trawl Gear Selectivity project involved conducting marine surveys and data analysis, researching the impact of the different gears utilised, specifically targeting the 40mm square mesh, which the Maltese otter boards trawlers are currently using. The study was focused at improving trawl gear selectivity, where gathered results could potentially lead to a reduction in the discards of the following species: European hake (Merluccius merluccius) and Deep-water rose shrimp (Parapenaues longirostris). Malta aims to reduce discards by 10% by 2023. Reno Micallef presented the study through a power point presentation. Study was done on European hake (Merluzz) and Deep-water rose shrimp (Gamblu Abjad).
Reno Micallef from fisheries Resource Unit gave short description of fish stock statistics and fish catches.
Anne Marie Vella gave a short speach about fish consumption in Malta. A survey was recently conducted to evaluate the awareness of malteses people about fish dietary values. The department together with the education department also held talks with school children to further educate them about fish dietary values and to enhance recognition of the local species.
Gilbert Balzan explained the various legislations regarding the registration of under sized fish caught especially during trawling.
The Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta held ts annual Xmas Buffet Lunch at the Alexandra Hotel, St Julians on Thursday 13th December 2018.
Il-Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta organizzat l-ikla tal-Milied ghall-membri ta l-Ghaqdiet affiljati u l-familji u l-hbieb taghhom nhar il-Hamis 13 ta Dicembru 2018. Il-Buffet Lunch sar fil-lukanda Alexndra go Paceville.
Federation committee members were invited and attended to the Interreg Italia – Malta Harmony Forum held on the 28th November at the Mediterranean Conference Centre.
The HARMONY project aims to suggest a set of monitoring and control measures between the two cross-border regions of Sicily and Malta.
The project will work on the integrity of marine seafloor and the inhabiting species. The effects of habitat fragmentation in facilitating the diffusion of Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) will also be investigated.
By integrating these two aspects, HARMONY will reach a better understanding of marine ecosystem functioning in a cross-border context and will directly contribute to the monitoring obligations for Descriptor 2 (Non-indigenous species do not adversely alter the ecosystem) and for Descriptor 6 (The sea floor integrity ensures functioning of the ecosystem) within the MSFD (Marine Strategy Framework Directive).
Alan Deidun gave a speech about the various alien fish present in Maltese waters and explained from where they originated. He encouraged the use of citizen science to collect and analyse data. He mentioned various Alien fish iniatives such as the app available on mobiles, the website and also the Facebook page available.
Luke Tabone from ERA. Then gave a presentation about the marine protected areas around the maltese islands and explained what each marine protected area was being protected for.
Luca Pisani from department of fisheries gave a speech about environmental projects (Marine Framework Directive and alien species). He also spoke about the socio economic benefits of such initiatives such as food security, marine tourism, coastal security and climate change mitigation. He also said that MPAs are very important for Blue Growth.
A Questionnaire was then given to the participants for them to answer the various questions related to the project and marine related subjects.
Finally organisers of the forum coming from iAMC, Universita Degli Studi di Palermo, Dipartimento della Pesca Mediterranea Regione Sicilia,, ISPRA, the University of Malta and the Scientific Section of the Fisheries Department Organisers explained the objects of this projects followed by Q&A session.
Committee members of the Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Diletanti Malta attended a consultation meeting with ERA personnel to discus the conservation objectives and also conservation measures to be adopted in regard to Marine Protected Areas within Malta's Fisheries Management Zones. This meeting was held on Monday 1st October 2018 at the Cottonera Sports Complex.
The meeting started with a short introduction about the matter by Mr Duncan Borg (ERA). This was followed by a presentation about the objectives of this project by Mr Luke Tabone (ERA). The presentation included all the Marine Protected Areas that have been established within Malta's Fisheries Management Zone, and what for each specific MPA is being conserved for (Posedonia Meadows, Reefs, Sandbanks, Birds or Caves)
This was then followed by Mr Duncan Borg (assisted by Mr Brian Christie) explaining what management measures are being proposed for each type of Marine Protected Area (No Anchoring, Ecological Mooring, Transition to Ecological Mooring, Swimming Zones, No Take, Seasonal No Take, No Traps and Seasonal Noise and Light restrictions). Mr Borg emphasised that the measures mentioned were so far only proposals and ERA was conducting the consultation meetings with all stakeholders (individually) so that ERA may collect the various counter proposals by the various stakeholders and then considering all these counter proposals when finalising the management measures.
More detailed information about this matter can be found at https://era.org.mt/en/Documents/PublicConsultation_ManagementMaltaMarineN2K.PDF
Small Scale Fisheries Network Malta inaugurated during Is-Sajda u it-Tisjira.
Members from the Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta Committee attended to the event Is-Sajda u it-Tisjira organised by MCAST at the College for Agriculture, Aquaatics and Animal Welfare on Friday 22nd June 2018. During this event, which was organised on the European Maritime Day, the Small Scale Fisheries Network Malta was officially launched.
The event was opened with a short introduction by Malcolm B. Borg (Deputy Director- Insitute of Applied Sciences, in charge of the CAAAS at MCAST-Centre for Agriculture, Aquatics & Animal Sciences (CAAAS)) MCAST) who welcome all those present at the event.
This was followed by a talk from Ms. Suzannne Piscopo (Heads the Health, Physical Education and Consumer Studies Department within the faculty of Education, University of Malta) about the benefits of having fish as one of the main ingredients of our diets. She emphasised about the Omega 3 content available in fish in addition to other important minerals and vitamins.
The Mediterranean Culinary Accademy followed with a demonstration of how to fillet fish and also how to cook the less popular but very beneficial mackerel.
Mr. Malcolm B. Borg and Dr. Alicia Said then officially launched the Small Scale Fisheries Network Malta.
Ms. Martha Cavalli from Low Impact Fisheries Europe (L.I.F.E.) then gave a short description of the aims and activities of the organisation she represents.
Ms Marja Bekendam-de Boer from the Network of Women in Fisheries and Aquaculture (AKTEA) then followed with a short speech about her organisation.
Profs Ratan Chuenpagdee (Professor at Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada) from the organisation Too Big to Ignore (TBTI) of Canada then followed with a short description of the aims and activities of her organisation. She also highlighted the important work being carried out by Dr. Alicia Said.
Dr Alicia Said then interviewed Mr. Carmelo Cassar (Il-Handy), a Marsaxlokk fisherman present for the event about the work done and hardships encountered by small scale and artisanal fishers in Malta.
The Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta was invited to and attended the Closure Event for Life Bahar N2K Project held at Villa Bighi on the 5th June 2018.
During the closure event of the LIFE BaĦAR for Natura 2000 project, Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera announced that Malta has increasing the protected marine areas from 3,487 km2 to 4,138 km2, reaching over 35% of the Maltese waters through the designation of an additional eight Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for Malta. These areas are being afforded protection owing to the presence of important seabed habitats, specifically reefs and caves, in both coastal and deep waters.
Three new inshore sites are an extension to the area covered by existing coastal MPAs, and these include a variety of coastal cave and reef habitats. A number of species of conservation interest inhabit these areas, including the star coral, Astroides calycularis, the long-spined sea urchin, Centrostephanus longispinus, and the Mediterranean slipper lobster, Scyllarides latus.
The project also led to the designation of two completely new areas. These include offshore reefs hosting extensive and diverse communities of cold-water corals and of gorgonians, including many species of conservation interest.
The LIFE BaĦAR for N2K project also extended three offshore sites which had been previously designated as MPAs and which are important for the loggerhead turtle and the bottlenose dolphin.
Data collected in the process will enhance our marine knowledge. In this case, precious information in relation to threats and weaknesses of our seas were sought. “Now more than ever we are recognising the need to preserve our seas which is our asset to be passed on to our future generations”, stated Minister Herrera who highlighted that 80% of marine litter is land-based and generated either by accident due to weather or on purpose by illegal littering.
The ministry has recently launched two important public consultations aimed at addressing littering challenges: the amendments to the Littering Regulations and the introduction of the Beverage Container Refund Scheme.
During the project surveys, hundreds of marine species were observed, including some 75 different species of fish, 55 cnidarians (e.g. corals, sea pens, anemones), 35 crustaceans, 32 molluscs, 21 echinoderms (starfish, brittle stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea-lilies) and 15 sponges, as well as various tunicates, bryozoans, brachiopods and annelids.
The LIFE BaĦAR for Natura 2000 project will pave the way for better management of these important areas. The information collected, including on the pressures observed, will over the next few years be used to develop and implement management measures to conserve this rich biodiversity, concluded Minister Herrera
This project’s aim was to to extend existing marine Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) and identify new SCIs for inclusion within the Natura 2000 network, a network of protected areas throughout the EU. LIFE BaĦAR for N2K commenced in October 2013 and is ending in June 2018; it had a budget of €2.6 million, 50% of which was co-financed by the EU LIFE funding programme.
By protecting new sites and extending those already protected, based on the results of this project, an additional area of about 700 km2 is now being protected to conserve seabed habitats and the species that live on them. With these new sites, Malta is now protecting over 4100 km2 of its waters. This area is equivalent to more than 35% of Malta’s Fisheries Management Zone.
The Federation met with representative from ADI Associates who have been contracted by the MTA to prepare an update to the strategy for a sustainable diving industry. The strategy document will outline the vision and objectives for the industry, as well as identify the existing and candidate shore, boat and wreck dive sites and the physical and other support infrastructure required for these sites. The project involves the updating and consolidation of the 2011 Diving Masterplan for Malta (Masterplan to Support A Sustainable Diving Industry in Malta) and the 2006 Diving Masterplan for Gozo and Comino, both of which were prepared by Adi Associates on behalf of the MTA and the Ministry for Gozo, respectively.
During the meeting held on Monday 21st May 2018 at the Cottonera Sports Complex the obvious implications for recreational and amateur fishing activities were discussed. ADI Associates envisages that there will be formal public consultation on the Draft Strategy; however, it is considered important to get the Federation's views at this stage.
Following the first stakeholder meetings on the LIFE BaHAR for Natura 2000 project, the Federation was invited to the second stakeholder meeting regarding this project. This took place on Monday 7th May at 6pm at Outlook Coop in Qormi.. During this meeting Dr Mark Mifsud presented all the findings of the interviews carried out during the past weeks, with all the stakeholders.
Wara li kienet saret l-ewwel laqgħa dwar LIFE BaĦAR fi ħdan il-proġett Natura 2000, il-Federazzjoni kienet mistiedna għat-tieni laqgħa li saret għall-istakeholders dwar dan il-proġett. Din saret nhar it-Tnejn 7 ta' Mejju fis-6pm f'Outlook Coop, Ħal Qormi. F'din il-laqgħa Dr Mark Mifsud ippreżenta t-tagħrif miġbur mill-intervisti li saru matul dawn l-aħħar ġimgħat mal-istakeholders kollha.
Il-Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta zammet il-Laqgha Generali Annwali taghha nhar il-Hadd 8 t'April 2018 fil-kumpless Sportiv tal-Kottonera. Wara li l-President fetah il-laqgha b'diskors qasir, inqraw u gew approvati il-minuti tal-laqgha generali annwali tas-sena l-ohra, inqara u gie approvat ir-rappoprt amministrattiv ghas-sena 2017 / 2018 u inqara u gie approvat ir-rapport finanzjarju ghas-sena 2017 / 2018. Membru mill-kumitat tal-Fondazzjoni San Pietru ghamel diskors qasir fuq ix-xoghol imwettaq mill Fondazzjoni kemm matul is-sena 2017 kif ukoll ta xi figuri ta kemm tqassmu porzjonijiet ta hut lill-istituti tal-karita u djar ta l-anzjani minn meta twaqqfet il-Fondazzjoni.
Fl-ahhar tal-laqgha saru xi mistoqsijiet mill-membri ta l-Ghaqdiet affiljati prezenti u anke saru diskussjonijiet fuq dawn l-istess mistoqsijiet.
The Federazzjoni ta l-Ghaqdiet tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti Malta held its Annual General Meeting on Sunday 8th April 2018 at the Cottonera Sports Complex. The meeting was opened with a short speech from the Federation president followed by the reading out of the minutes of the last Annual General Meeting. These minutes were approved by members present. The Federation Secretary then read out the Administrative report for the year 2017 / 2018, which was approved by members present. The Treasurer of the Federation then read out the financial report for 2017 / 2018 which was again approved by members from affiliated associations present. This was followed by a short address by a committee member of Fondazzjoni San Pietru who gave a short description of the work carried out by the Fondazzjoni San Pietru during the year 2017 as well as gave some statistics about the number of fish portions donated to charity institutions and old age homes since the setting up of the Fondazzjoni.
The last part of the meeting consisted of questions put up by members of affiliated associations about recreational fishing and a discussion on the same questions raised.