The Malta Independent 22 February 2020, Saturday

'Booms installed in all signatory fish farm operators' cages' - Federation for Aquaculture Producers

Saturday, 4 August 2018, 15:06 Last update: about 3 years ago

The Maltese Federation for Aquaculture Producers has said that booms have been installed in every cage used by fish farm operators who signed the agreement last week.

Earlier this week, in the wake of the sea slime issue again arising. the Maltese Federation for Aquaculture Products announced that it had reached an agreement with four out of the five fish farm operators to regularise their procedures between August and the end of October in order to have cleaner seas for everyone.

The agreement includes several considerations that the operators must adopt and follow to ensure that the environment around them is treated well and with full respect. Such measures include each operator having to place booms around each cage to stop any oils that emerge from the feed used for the fish spreading into the open water; that each operator has a boat dedicated to going round the cages and picking up any waste that has been generated; that the feed should be transported and processed in accordance with the best environmental practices and that there should be an independent person appointed by the Federation to assess and report on the practices that the signatory operators are using.

The Federation said that the Tuna farm operators had listened to calls by the public, and to the direction by government when, with immediate effect, they answered to the request by the Environment Minister not to feed the fish until the booms were installed.

The Federation said that while there were some operators who already had the booms, others were in the process of concluding this. Meanwhile, for the cages without Booms, feed was partially suspended.

This process, the Federation said, is now complete, and the cages of the operators who are signatories of this self-regulation agreement are armed with specific material to, as much as possible, catch oil and other material which could escape as a result of the industry.

The Federation noted that regular inspections by sea and air are taking place so that the Federation will have a better understanding as to how the member operators are operating.

The operators who signed the agreement thus far are AJD Tuna Limited, Fish and Fish Limited, Malta Mariculture Limited and MFF Limited. 

Professor Joe Borg, Head of the Science Faculty at the University of Malta, has been appointed as the independent expert to analyse and closely follow the environmental aspects related to this industry.


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