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Fish and Farming Regulation and Control

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Malta Fisheries Country Profile

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Malta Aquaculture Research Centre

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Capture Fisheries

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Home : Fish & Farm Reg. & Control : Capture Fisheries

Capture Fisheries

 

Research Activities 1998 onwards

(A) COPEMED - FAO Regional Project (since 1998)

Several activities of this Spanish-funded FAO project are expected to assist in developing a management policy for the Mediterranean region within the framework of the GFCM.
Malta is involved in the following major COPEMED research activities:

COPEMED
www.faocopemed.org/en/index.htm

FAO
www.fao.org

Artisanal Fisheries in the Central and Western Mediterranean

A project to study the multi-species , multi-gear artisanal fisheries in the Central and Western Mediterranean.

Field surveys have been carried out by Fisheries Officers and data collected has been processed and included in a National report.

Maltese data and information have been entered in a Geographical Information System (GIS) regional database.

This regional GIS database is a powerful tool which could be used for the sound management of artisanal fisheries in the Mediterranean.

The results of the project have clearly demonstrated the importance of artisanal fisheries and hence will be given special attention when a Mediterranean Common Fisheries Policy will be formulated by the GFCM in the near future.

For more information link to Malta Artisanal Fisheries Report (PDF)

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Blue-fin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) Population Dynamics research programme

Research on fisheries biology of blue-fin tuna and swordfish (Xiphias gladius) in the Mediterranean Sea.

Malta is participating by collecting fishing effort and landings data as well as biological data together with Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Italy.

The results of the analyses of the pooled national data are used to issue recommendations (eg. total allowable catches, closed seasons) on the exploitation of these Mediterranean stocks.

For more information link to Copemed Tuna Project Reports

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The Fishery, Biology and Management of Coryphaena hippurus (lampuka)

Malta, Sicily, Tunisia and Mallorca are participating in this research project which is expected to provide the basis for a future Mediterranean management regime for this migratory species; the exploitation of lampuki is not currently regulated on an international scale.

Studies have been focusing on fishing effort, landings, biology and population dynamics of this species.

Maltese fishermen from various districts have contributed to the collection of data on population dynamics and a sample from their catches have been studied at the laboratories of Fort San Lucjan.

Malta has collected data on catches and fishing effort by fishing vessel and it’s associated kannizzati.

A better understanding of the lampuki Mediterranean population characteristics such as fecundity, growth and maturity, recruitment, sex ratio, length distribution and age distribution. Genetic studies are also being carried out to help identify the precise origin of this migrating population.

Data from each participating country will be analysed and a final report on this research project, including conclusions and recommendations, will be drawn up by mid-2002.

For more information go to www.faocopemed.org/en/activ/research/dolphinfish.htm

Overview of Lampuki reasearch project   How to estimate the age of a Lampuka
Overview of Lampuki research project   How to estimate the age of a Lampuka

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Fisheries Statistics & Sampling Network

The DFA has joined a Mediterranean fisheries sampling network within the framework of the COPEMED Project through the following activities / schemes :

  • Through the support of COPEMED and FAO expertise, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Malta) has set-up a reliable and efficient computerised fisheries statistics system (MALTASTAT) which would satisfy its obligations with international fisheries bodies and the European Union.
  • MaltaStat included a register / inventory of fishing vessels, an automatic reporting facility and a licensing facility.

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Catch Assessment Scheme

Catch Assessment Scheme In parallel to the development of a new computerised statistics scheme, the DFA has embarked on a catch assessment programme with the support of FAO, whereby catches and fishing effort of the Maltese fishing fleet could be monitored.

Extensive research on vessel activities has been carried out since 1999 and a number of pilot studies have taken place in order to design the sampling methodology required for the local fishing fleet.

Reliable statistics on these parameters are vital for sound fisheries management and the scheme will take official status in January 2002 .

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Operational Units Research

Operational Units Research A new approach being adopted by the GFCM for the management of fisheries in the Mediterranean is to control the fishing effort of “Operational Units”.

Operational Units are a function o the category of fishing vessel, fishing operation, species stocks, economic category of the vessel etc.
Research on the identification of these Operational Units is underway in many regions of the Mediterranean and the DFA has been the first to submit is preliminary result to FAO.

More information on Operational Units is available here: www.faocopemed.org/en/sac/docs.htm

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(B) EU Mediterranean Trawl Survey Project (MEDITS) - since 2000


This ongoing project estimates the abundance of demersal marine resources on a regional and sub-regional basis. The survey in Maltese waters has been carried out on an annual basis since 2000. These surveys have provided some general indications as to the state of resources in Maltese waters.

It appears that Maltese waters are an important “refugium” and spawning ground for a number of important species in the Central Mediterranean, the other areas of which are greatly overexploited.

The results of MEDITS for the last five years will shortly be published in a special edition of Sciencia Marina and a paper on the species Sciaena umbra (gurbell), using the data from the Maltese trawl survey, has been presented at the CIESM (International Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean Sea) meeting in September 2001. 

Map of the Mediterranean

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(C) Participation in International scientific fora

Active participation in the activities of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the GFCM and its sub-committees on stock assessment, statistics and information, environment and socio-economics.

Participation, with observer status, in scientific meetings of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and those of the EU.

Participation in ad hoc regional workshops on fisheries science and management.

ICCAT Logo
FAO Logo
EU Logo

 

Click on the above logos to go to their respective sites.         

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(D) Other Projects

The DFA has officially accepted to take part in another FAO regional fisheries research project, MedSudMed which has been launched at the end of 2001. The first scientific meeting was held in Malta in December 2002.

It has also committed itself to take part in the Mediterranean Global Ocean Observing System (UN) and its associated Fifth Framework Programme of the EU (FP5) project MAMA.

On accession of Malta to the EU the MCFS will be eligible to embark on Scientific Projects co-ordinated and funded by the EU (for further information click here: www.jrc.cec.eu.int

Med Goos Logo
FAO Logo
EU Logo

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(E) Environmental issues 

  • Water quality and sediment analysis pH, dissolved oxygen, salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll, ammonia, phosphates, nitrates, bacteriology
  • Representative of the Fisheries and Aquaculture branch  in the National Marine Contingency Plan
  • Rehabilitation of  injured sea-turtles, together with MEPA , fishermen and NGO’s.
  • Partners with eight other governmental entities and NGO’s in The Yelkouan Shearwater Project.
    The Yelkouan Shearwater Project is Malta’s largest conservation initiative. It is important because the Maltese Islands are home to approximately 10% of the world’s population of Yelkouan Shearwaters (Puffinus yelkouan).

    The main aim of the project is to protect the birds at the largest breeding site, Rdum tal-Madonna (L’Ahrax tal-Mellieha), in the North of Malta. The Project will also improve this protected site for wildlife and visitors. At a national level, we aim to increase breeding pairs by the end of the project in 2010 and to set an example for the management of other protected sites in Malta.
    The Malta Centre for Fisheries Sciences is a partner in this exciting project, along with other government authorities and conservation organisations. The project is 50% funded by the EU Life Nature Fund. MEPA and HSBC are also supporting the project with financial contributions. This partnership approach is an innovative way of working in Malta and will ensure we achieve our project aims and secure the long term future for the birds.

    To find out more about how MCFS is helping to achieve positive action happen on the ground and what the project has achieved so far, visit our project website on www.lifeshearwaterproject.org.mt  or email MCFS project officer on this email.

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