Data loading...

Maltese Authorities: Tuna Fishermen Must Respect EU Directives Malta, April 1, 13

Parliamentary secretary for agriculture, fisheries and animal rights Roderick Galdes said that Malta will stick to and respect European directives on tuna fishing.

Maltese Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes

Addressing a general meeting organized by the national fish cooperative, Galdes heard fishermen complain that despite being equipped to fish for tuna, yet they couldn’t do so.

Brussels has applied stringent rules for blue fin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean as part of a 15-year recovery plan.

The measures include the presence of observers on fishing boats and surprise inspections to ensure no over-fishing occurs. The rules form part of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) aimed at reducing the fishing effort on tuna stocks in the Mediterranean.

“What has been regulated by ICCAT on the tuna fishing quota is biding and will be respected,” Galdes said.

He also said that he would look into the matter and what problems exist when asked over the issuing of tuna licenses.

Galdes however made sure to drive home the message that a Labor government would improve its communication with the fishermen and that his door will always be open - a pledge much welcomed by the fishermen present who complained about the “arrogance” of the previous administration.

The fishermen also took to task Fisheries Control Directorate director general Joseph Caruana for what they described as lack of cooperation from the directorate’s side. Caruana, appointed director under the PN administration was also present for the meeting.

Galdes also announced that the Labor government will be reviewing the fisheries board while he has commissioned a report to find an adequate landing site for the fish market.

The parliamentary secretary that the €4m pixkerija project at the Grand Harbor lacked a landing facility and an adequate alternative for it must now be found.

While reminding the fishermen that they were now working under EU directives and as such they had to respect them, Galdes agreed to look into the hefty infringement fines, which in some cases ran into thousands of euros.