The Malta Independent 9 December 2018, Sunday

Swimming in tonnes of slime and other excreta: PD calls for PS’s resignation

Thursday, 9 August 2018, 10:23 Last update: about 5 months ago

Partit Demokratiku today called for the resignation of the Parliamentary Secretary of Fisheries and Animal Rights Clint Camilleri for not speaking up and not taking the necessary action to maintain standards and protect Malta’s marine natural habitat.

The aquaculture industry falls under his remit and it is disappointing to learn from fish farmers that after the 2016 sea pollution scandal brought about by the blue-fin tuna industry, no adequate regulation and monitoring measures were imposed by the secretariat.

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Minister Josè Herrera‘s very recent warning that the aquaculture industry must stop polluting our seas is indicative that our National Aquaculture Strategy 2014-2025 is not being adhered with sustainable foresight. The Auditor General himself has also warned that this economic activity is jeopardising our marine conservation areas and ecosystems. Yet government’s inaction speaks for itself, PD said.

Partit Demokratiku also deplored the inaccurate statements expressed by the Ministry which have misled the public in the past.

The Superintendent of Public Health is also duty bound to monitor and issue temporary health warnings by banning swimming in bays which are heavily contaminated by slime and other aquacultural pollutants, PD said.

The Ministry of Environment has been warned over and over again since 2017 both in and outside Parliament by Partit Demokratiku to no avail.

Partit Demokratiku reminds the public that tuna is caught from open Mediterranean seas every June, caged and fattened in fish farms, and harvested for export in October. This period coincides with Malta’s peak holiday and tourist season and since tonnes of slime and other excreta are an inevitable by-product of aquaculture farming, this pollution is inevitable unless very extraordinary measures are adhered to.  Aquaculture farming, as a result of the concentrated fish biomass, is like having a tanker that daily spills out oil and excreta contaminating our sea, some of which turns into slime when the wind and currents are onshore.

 

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