Reports of fishing illegalities, including the registration number of the relevant fishing vessel and any photos which could facilitate the legal procedures should be reported, in a confidential manner, to the Environment Ministry at infofisheries@msdec.com.mt, tel: 2292 1111.

The ministry issued a statement this morning stating that all fishing activities must be in line with the existing regulations.

The regulations, which pertain to the deployment of trammel nets, incorporate the restriction of the nets’ use in all bays and creeks and limit the area and period within which their use is lawful.

The Sunday Times of Malta yesterday reported that calls are growing for the Dwejra action plan to be implemented and enforced after a diver photographed a 70-metre fishing net near the Azure Window in Gozo.

The Ministry said it was aware that the proposed marine protected area of Dwejra was included in the action plan of the Qawra/Dwejra Heritage Park. The legal framework of the area, however, did not incorporate trammel net fishing restrictions.

While Dwejra was legally declared a marine protected area, there were no laws or regulations that pertained to the management of fishing activities in the area to date, it said.

The ministry said it has been liaising with the competent authority to devise the essential foundations and start working on this issue to ensure a holistic approach that takes into account the needs of both the diving and fishing sectors.

A strategy to collect the necessary information on the fishing activities in Dwejra has been devised and ministry believed that the development of a zoning scheme, based on a win-win strategy, should fulfil the needs of all stakeholders involved to ensure compliance.

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