Zam­mit Dimech raises Mal­tese recre­ational an­glers’ con­cerns at Euro­pean Par­lia­ment

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

MEP Fran­cis Zam­mit Dimech has raised the con­cerns of Mal­tese recre­ational fish­er­men at the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, say­ing: “The use of piers for pri­vate purposes means that recre­ational fish­er­men are find­ing it dif­fi­cult to prac­tice their sport.”

Zam­mit Dimech was speak­ing at a ple­nary de­bate on recre­ational fish­er­men at the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in Stras­bourg.

He added that an­glers were con­cerned about ghost fish­ing and with the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact be­ing left on the marine en­vi­ron­ment which was hav­ing a neg­a­tive ef­fect on fish abun­dance. In this re­gard, more ef­fort needs to be made with re­spect to man­age­ment of waste in­clud­ing oil spills close to mari­nas and to re­cu­per­ate waste found in the sea in­clud­ing aban­doned nets. Zam­mit Dimech said that over the past weeks he met the four or­gan­i­sa­tions rep­re­sent­ing an­glers, the Fed­er­a­tion for Recre­ational Fish­er­men and other an­glers to learn more about their challenges and pro­pos­als for the sec­tor.

The re­port em­pha­sises the lack of data avail­able with re­spect to the Mediter­ranean re­gion. Zam­mit Dimech wel­comed the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Mal­tese an­glers fed­er­a­tion and the Univer­sity of Malta and said that data col­lec­tion was cru­cial to en­sure that pol­icy mea­sures adopted in the fu­ture will be based on cor­rect in­for­ma­tion.

He added that the sec­tor had to be fur­ther sup­ported in­clud­ing through EU fund­ing as it gen­er­ates jobs such as those re­lated to small shops that of­fer ser­vices to recre­ational fish­er­men. Fur­ther­more, this is an op­por­tu­nity to boost sus­tain­able tourism and gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment for small coastal com­mu­ni­ties and on is­lands such as Gozo.

Zam­mit Dimech wel­comed the var­i­ous ini­tia­tives taken by recre­ational fish­er­men in terms of sus­tain­abil­ity in­clud­ing the fact that the catch and re­lease ap­proach is prac­ticed and other mea­sures taken to ex­clude small fish from be­ing caught.

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