Surveillance of sensitive maritime areas is expected to improve following a €170,000 investment in a boat by the Environment and Resources Authority.
The 8.45m long Altamarea WAVE27 will be used by ERA officials to enforce environmental laws at sea, in areas such as Maritime Protected Areas or around offshore fish farms.
It was inaugurated by the environmental Agency in the presence of Environment and Energy Minister Miriam Dalli and acting ERA CEO Kevin Mercieca. “Through this investment and enforcement, ERA will continue working with other entities to raise further awareness and reduce this impact on the marine environment”, said the minister.
Mercieca said that 20 ERA officials have been trained to operate and inspect at sea in recent weeks.
“ERA will now be able to monitor areas which could not be reached from land”, he said.
As the environmental regulator, ERA is responsible for issuing environmental permits for economic activities. It is also tasked with inspecting sites and enforcing fines or other measures for any infractions.
The vessel is equipped with two 150HP Yamaha engines. It weighs 1,250kgs, can accommodate up to 12 passengers and is capable of reaching speeds of over 40 knots.
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