Legal Unit

Legal Unit

​The Fisheries Board

The Fisheries Board was established in accordance with Article 5 of the Fisheries Conservation and Administration Act (Chapter 425) and its duty is to advise the Minister on any matter referred to by the said Minister, and generally in relation to the development, administration and conservation of fisheries in Malta and in particular shall :- 

(a)   consider and make proposals for the making of regulations under article 38, or any other legislation which may affect the fishing industry;
(b)   consider and make proposals for the introduction of measures prohibiting or restricting the catching of species of fish or other measures that would lead to the conservation of fish stocks;
(c)  consider and make proposals for agreements or arrangements to be entered into pursuant to article 18;
(d)   consider any matters referred to it by a member of the Board, by a government department or by a member of the public and make its recommendations thereon if and as the Board may consider appropriate;
(e)   submit such proposals to the Government as it shall consider appropriate;
(f)   submit an annual report of its activities to the Minister;
(g)   have such other functions and duties as may be prescribed.

The members of the Board are appointed for three years and consists of the Director, ex officio, as chairman, and of members appointed by the Minister -

(a) a member of the Fisheries Department, after consultation with the Director, who shall be deputy chairman;
(b) one member from among and nominated by the commercial fishermen who is a person from amongst the commercial fishermen as defined in paragraph (b) of the definition of ''commercial fisherman'' in article 2 of the above mentioned Act;
(c) one member from among and nominated from amongst the members of the Federazzjoni tas-Sajjieda Dilettanti;
d) one member from among and nominated by fish market traders (pitkali);
(e) one member from among and nominated by fish retailers;
(f) seven other members from among persons having an interest or knowledge in matters relating to fisheries or the fishing industry, of whom four shall be nominated by fishermen’s co-operatives registered under the Cooperatives Societies Act;
(g) one member from the Department for the Protection of the Environment nominated by the Minister responsible for that department;
(h) one member from the Armed Forces of Malta nominated by the Minister responsible for the armed forces.

A public official from the Department is appointed as Secretary to the Board.

Board meetings are held regularly and board members as well as high officials from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture are formally invited to submit items on the Agenda well in advance of the forthcoming meeting.  Officials from  the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and from other entities are often summoned to give presentations which augment the agenda.

The Legal Unit within the Fisheries & Aquaculture Department

The Legal Unit within the Fisheries & Aquaculture Department has an intrinsic role of handling the legal affairs of the Department.  Its role is to provide legal advice to the various Heads of Section within the said Department regarding any legal issues, which may arise.  The Unit also has the responsibility of drafting Legal Notices, legal agreements and any legal letters that may be required, along with having the duty of reviewing legal documents and researching any relative regulations. 

This Unit works closely with other Government entities, such as, the office of the State Advocate  in order to obtain guidance regarding any issues, that might require further in-depth legal interpretations.

Importantly, the Legal Unit has the responsibility of reviewing all the ‘Possible Non-Compliance’ cases forwarded to it by the Fisheries Control Unit, with the aim of determining whether any illegality has taken place and whether legal action is required. If legal action is required this Unit works with the Administrative Law Enforcement Police, in order to initiate and proceed with the prosecution of the required court cases.