Update 2 - Birzebbuga local council has blamed fish farms for a greasy substance seen floating off Delimara and Birzebbuga, drawing swimmers' complaints.

The council said the substance is composed of the remains of feed used by fish farms and it has complained to Mepa.  

This, the council said, was another example how industrial activity is affecting ordinary citizens. It called for coordinated action for the inconvenience to end and said it has had meetings with Transport Malta and the Civil Protection Department. 

Earlier today, a  reader who took the above photo told Times of Malta that she was at Kalanka in Delimara on Wednesday afternoon when she noticed the white greasy substance floating in the sea all around the bay.

"It smelled nasty and fishy. Tourists (from Italy, Germany, Australia among others) and of course locals, were complaining and not swimming even in the scorching sun.

"It looked and smelled disgusting and when we tried to swim at the other side of the bay where there was less, we noticed that the substance is sticky and sticks to your skin, hair, goggles, swimwear and whatever gets in contact with this substance. Furthermore we noticed that in the late afternoon there were more jellyfish and we were wondering whether they were also attracted to this fish smelling substance."  

Birzebbuga local council member Herman Schiavone also reported a substance at Qajjenza in Birzebbuga bay. He said a number of bathers had complained to him about their difficulties.

He was later told it was not oil but some sort of fatty substance.

Dr Schiavone said he had been assured that the substance did not come from the fish farm inside Marsaxlokk Bay.

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