Control Unit

Consumer Regulations + Labelling & Price

​Malta as a full member of the European Union is bound by the respective Regulations as derived from the common European legal framework. The obligations where consumer regulations are concerned and mainly in respect of the offering for sale of fishery products are mainly derived from Regulation (EU) No 1379/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11th December 2013. Further legal obligations are followed by the obligations as laid down in the National legal framework by Act 425.02

Where consumer information is concerned the Regulation addresses the obligations of buyers to label all the fishery products offered for sale by specific information as referred below:

  • The commercial designation of the species and its scientific name;
  • The production method, in particular by the following words "… caught …" or "… caught in freshwater …" or "… farmed …” 
  • The area where the product was caught or farmed, and the category of fishing gear used in capture of fisheries, 
  • Whether the product has been defrosted; 

These obligations are continuously monitored by Fisheries inspections through an ongoing inspection programme at retail outlets offering for sale fishery products. 

Link with EFCA-JDP

Council regulation (EC) No 768/2005 of 26th April 2005 established a Community Fisheries Control Agency and further on amended to European Fisheries Control Agency and commonly referred to as EFCA.  By means of Decisions No 2017/05 of the Executive Director of the EFCA as amended in the progressive years establishes a Joint Inspection Plan which organises the joint use of the national means of control and inspection pooled by Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain in order to give effect to the common rules and target inspection benchmarks as laid down in Commission Implementing Decision 2014/156/EU.

The planning and coordination of the EFCA JDP is managed between Member states through the Steering Group meetings until the start of the BFT campaign when the coordination is done through the Technical Joint Deployment Group, which is set at the EFCA headquarters in Vigo, Spain. The TJDG is composed of experts from EFCA with deployment of National Experts from the concerned Member States. The main aim of the TJDG is to coordinate the fore planned missions, both at sea at in ports and serve as a communication portal between the concerned parties. The main aim of the EFCA JDP is to plan the monitoring and control of the BFT campaign taking into consideration the most common fishing ground and the fishing effort conducted therein through VMS monitoring and liaising with member States and their control vessels.

Follow up of infringements- control room

Although the Maltese Islands have only 140 km length of continental coastline, the Maltese Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) has an overall area of 11 980 km2, thus in late 2012 the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA) established a Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) with the main task of monitoring the Maltese fishing fleet wherever it maybe as per Article 9 (7) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009.

The FMC has a complement of one Senior Fisheries Protection Officer (SFPO) and five Fisheries Protection Officers (FPO’s) whom monitor 220 fishing vessels installed with the above tracking equipment 24 hrs per day 365 days a week including all public holidays.

This is done by the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), Malta FMC receives via satellite, messages from the fishing vessel every 2 hrs (This can be changed on the needs of the FMC) from these messages the officers at the FMC are able to monitor the vessels wherever they maybe. 

The VMS is installed on fishing vessels above 12 metres as per Article 9 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009.

To further complement the FMC, the officers can monitor fishing vessels using the Automatic Identification System AIS (for fishing vessels above 15 metres) these messages are received every six minutes thus enabling monitoring of a fishing vessel in near real time as per Article 10 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1244/2009, with regards to AIS Malta is currently participating with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in various pilot projects to enhance the FMC monitoring capability.

The General packet radio service (GPRS) is used for small scale fisheries that mainly operate within the 25 nautical mile (FMZ), messages are received approximately every twenty minutes, the GPRS equipment is installed on vessels from 6 metres to 9 metres as per special permit requirements, such as fishing vessels involved in the Dolphin Fish fishery (DOL).

The Electronic logbook is also installed on the fishing fleet above 12 metres; with the E-log book the officers at the FMC are able to monitor a fishing vessel catch prior to a pre notification for landing. 

Also the FMC deals with the remaining fishing fleet not equipped with a tracking device by coordinating landings of catches and vessels inspections with FPO’s of the DFA.

Another task is to monitor Community and 3rd Country fishing vessels when they enter Malta’s FMZ to ensure that they are fully compliant.

Malta FMC also leases with the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) Transport Malta (TM); other Coastal Member States, European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and the European Commission with regards to fisheries issues.


Main Ports
  • List of designated ports for the purpose of transhipment specifying their operating hours
    +
  • List of designated ports, specifying their operating hours 1 month after the entry into force of a multiannual plan & after approval by the Commission
 

  

Authorized Ports for Landing/Transhipment of fishery products and Entry of foreign vessels into CPC ports

Port Identification

Specific Authorization

Port Name

Country

Port Code (UN/LOCODE)

Latitude
(+North/-South)

Longitude

(+East/-West)

Date Auth From

(dd/mm/yyyy)

Date Auth To

(dd/mm/yyyy)

Permitted Times

(HH:MM to HH:MM)

Type of Authorization (AuthID)

Marfa
/Ċirkewwa

EU Malta

MT CKW 1F2

35.989

14.329

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

1

Marsaxlokk

EU Malta

MT MAR 1F5

35.833

14.533

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

1

Mġarr (Gozo)

EU Malta

MT MGZ 1F1

36.017

14.283

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

1

Valletta

EU Malta

MT MLA 1F4

35.883

14.500

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

2

St.Paul’s Bay

EU Malta

MT SPB 1F6

35.947

14.389

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

3

Marsalforn (Gozo)

EU Malta

MT MFN 1F9

36.071

14.259

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

3

Msida

EU Malta

MT MSD 1F3

35.896

14.493

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

4

San Ġiljan

EU Malta

MT STG 1F7

35.919

14.491

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

4

Marsascala

EU Malta

MT MSC 1F10

35.865

14.565

31/12/2014

14/02/2016

H 24

4

Marsamxett

EU Malta

MT MSX 1F0

35.901

14.508

14/04/2015

14/02/2016

H 24

5

Malta Freeport Terminal

EU Malta

MT DIS 1F0

35.818

14.540

14/04/2015

14/02/2016

H 24

5

 

Key

AuthID

Description

1

Ports in which the landing of all species is permitted

2

Ports in which both transhipment and landing of all species is permitted, and to which foreign fishing vessels may request entry

3

Ports in which the landing of all species, except E-BFT and trawled fish, is permitted

4

Ports in which the landing of dolphinfish (DOL) is permitted

5

Ports in which vessels may request access for port services

 ​

Authorized Ports for 1) Landing/Transhipment EBFT and 2) Entry of foreign vessels into CPC ports

Port Identification

Specific Authorization

Port Name

Country

Port Code
(UN/LOCODE)

Latitude

(+North/-South)

Longitude

(+East/-West)

Date Auth From

(dd/mm/yyyy)

Date Auth To

(dd/mm/yyyy)

Permitted Times

(HH:MM to HH:MM)

Type of Authorization (AuthType)

M’Xlokk

EU Malta

MTMAR

35.833

14.533

15/04/2015

14/02/2016

H 24

2

Valletta

EU Malta

MTMLA

35.883

14.500

15/04/2015

14/02/2016

H 24

5

Ċirkewwa /Marfa

EU Malta

MTCKW

35.989

14.329

15/04/2015

14/02/2016

H 24

2

Mġarr Gozo

EU Malta

MTMGZ

36.017

14.283

15/04/2015

14/02/2016

H 24

2

 

Key

PortAuth TypeID

PortAuth TypeCode

Description

1

BFT_Transhipment

Ports in which the transhipment of BFT-E is permitted

2

BFT_Landing

Ports in which the landing of BFT-E is permitted

3

BFT_Both

Ports in which both transhipment and landing of BFT-E is permitted

4

Foreign_Vessels

Ports to which the foreign vessels may request entry

5

BFT and Foreign Vessels

Ports in which both transhipment and landing of BFT-E is permitted, and to which foreign fishing vessel may request entry

6

BFT Landing and Foreign

Ports in which landing of BFT-E is permitted, and to which foreign fishing vessel may request entry

7

BFT Transhipment and Foreign

Ports in which transhipment of BFT-E is permitted, and to which foreign fishing vessel may request entry

Associated conditions for recording and reporting the quantities of species under the multiannual plan for each landing:

Conditions:

1. Every fisher must inform the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture 4 hours prior to entrance of ports and call on 22921111.

2. Landing of all the BFT should be in an identified port [Marfa, Marsaxlokk, Mgarr Gozo, il-Port il-Kbir (Fishing Market & Marsa)] and in the presence of a landing officer.  BFT caught should be landed as a whole or cleaned.

3. No BFT can be commercialized if there is not the document of inspection of landing signed by a landing officer together with BCD.  All BFT caught should be marked with tags which will be provided by the Department.

4. The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has the right to close the BFT fishing season before the established date every time the individual quote and/or national quote is reached prior to that date.

5. All long lines should be marked and identified according to EC 356/2006.

6. Every vessel higher than one and a half meter above sea level should have a ladder to facilitate access for inspectors carrying out inspections during fishing trips.

7. Landing declaration cannot be more or less than 10% of the total catch.  When weighing the fish, the department will consider the weight of the cleaned discards.

8. Secondary catch can include BFT or any other fish of the same species.

9. Minimum size will be 8kg or 75cm for maximum of 4.71 tonnes of the national quota. Once this amount is reached, minimum size will be 30kg or 115cm.

Duration of closure and the conditions governing fisheries in Mediterranean during the closure

The Mediterranean is the geographical area of affected fishing grounds.  The following is the duration of closure and the conditions governing fisheries in Mediterranean during the closure

Swordfish

During the period 2010-2014, the Maltese swordfish fishery was merged in line with Council Regulation (EC) 1967/2006, and Regulation (EU) 1343/2011.  This Fishery was open throughout the year with the exclusion of October and November during the period 2010-2013.  During 2013-2014, the fishery was closed during March, October and November.  Vessels were only allowed to operate a maximum of 2800 hooks of a minimum size of 7cm, and minimum fish limitations were imposed, in line with ICCAT Recommendation 13-04 for management measures for Mediterranean swordfish.

There is a discard obligation for swordfish weighing less than 25 kg live weight or 125cm lower jaw fork length, caught as incidental catch and exceeding 15% of the number of swordfish of the vessel’s total swordfish catch per landing.  (Taken from EC 1380/2013) 

Lampuki fish aggregating device (FAD)

The lampuki fishery was closed from 1 January to 15 August each year during the period 2010-2014 in line with Council Regulation (EC)1967/2006, and regulation (EU) 1343/2011.  During the years with prevalent bad weather conditions during part of the open season, the fishery was extended for an equivalent number of lost days during January of the following year by way of derogation set in Article 12 of Regulation (EU) 1343/2011. The fishery is restricted by a minimum mesh size of 14mm.

Bluefin tuna longline and purse sine

The bluefin tuna fishery was closed for artisanal longline vessels within the Mediterranean between 1 July and 15 April each year during the period 2010-2011.  During 2012-2014, the fishery was closed for artisanal longline vessels between 31 December and 15 April each year.

(ICCAT RECOMENDATION 13/07)

Minimum size

29. CPCs (Contracting Parties and Cooperating non-Contracting Parties, Entities or Fishing Entities) shall take the necessary measures to prohibit catching, retaining on board, transhipping, transferring, landing, transporting, storing, selling, displaying or offering for sale bluefin tuna weighing less than 30 kg or with fork length less than 115cms.

30. By derogation of paragraph 29, a minimum size for bluefin tuna of 8 kg or 75cms fork length shall apply to the following situations in accordance with the procedures set out in Annex 1. 

a) Bluefin tuna caught by baitboats and trolling boats in the eastern Atlantic. 

b) Bluefin tuna caught in the Adriatic Sea for farming purposes. 

c) Bluefin tuna caught in the Mediterranean Sea by the coastal artisanal fishery for fresh fish by baitboats, longliners and handliners. 

31. For catching vessels and traps fishing actively for bluefin tuna, an incidental catch of maximum 5% of bluefin tuna weighing between 8 and 30 kg or with fork length between 75-115 cm may be authorized. This percentage is calculated on the total incidental catches in number of fish retained on board this vessel at any time after each fishing operation in the above mentioned weight or length categories. Incidental catches must be deducted from the quota of the flag State CPC. The procedures referred to in paragraphs 64, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71 and 96 shall apply to the incidental catch. 

Atlantic BFT quota 188900kg for 2015

Traditional Maltese seine net (tartarun)

The traditional Maltese seine net fishery was closed from 2010 to 2014 during 16 August and 24 June each year.  The fishery was restricted by a minimum mesh size of 14mm

Light-assisted purse seine net (lampara)

No close season was applicable to the light-assisted purse seine net fishery, since this fishery was active during 2010-2014 throughout the year.  The fishery was restricted by a minimum mesh size of 14mm.

IUU Day

5th June 2018 marks the very first time that an IUU day is being celebrated worldwide as an effort to raise awareness on this important topic. 

This day has been championed by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) who has announced that 2018 is the first year the world will observe an official day promoting awareness of the need to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This new international day will be celebrated on 5 June, following a recent decision by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Further information may be found on the following site: http://www.fao.org/gfcm/news/detail/en/c/1096102/