The Federation of Maltese Aquaculture Producers on Thursday urged unauthorised mariners to avoid entering aquaculture zones.

It issued its warning after a small boat capsized when it was close to a much larger trawler off St Paul's Bay last month. 

The federation denied that the trawler hit the fishing boat off St Paul's Bay, causing the incident, "The small fishing boat capsized in the waves, with the men taken on board a trawler owned by one of the Bluefin Tuna operators... Video recordings show there was no collision. The AJD Tuna Ltd. trawler not only rescued the men but helped drain water from the boat and arranged for divers to help retrieve personal possessions," the federation said.  

Aquaculture zones are located in the southeast and the north of Malta.

The federation said the sites were delineated by the Department of Fisheries and the Planning Authority with fish farming activities determined by coordinates and marker buoys. Certain manoeuvres are restricted because of the continuous activity held on site. The sites are covered by notices to mariners, issued by Transport Malta, where entry, unless necessary, is prohibited.

"The use of rope bouys or cages to anchor a boat is not only prohibited but also dangerous as shown in the latest incident," the federation added.

 

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