Project Unit

Project Unit

The Projects Unit is primarily responsible of managing and implementing projects and aid schemes funded through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) and National funds. 

Ongoing and Recently Completed Nationally Funded Aid Schemes-

Boat Restoration Scheme 

The scheme entails the provision of financial assistance to MFA and MFB boat owners that have one of the traditional Maltese wooden vessels, these being Firilla, Frejgatina, Kajjik and Luzzu. The implementation of this scheme was deemed necessary by the DFA as the maintenance costs of wooden vessels is substantially higher than that associated with vessels made from fiberglass. The support granted as part of the scheme can be considered as a direct investment towards the sustainability and cultural preservation of the traditional Maltese wooden fishing fleet. 

Incentive Scheme for Sustainable Fishing

Recently the DFA embarked on the implementation of a scheme that seeks to promote more responsible fishing and awareness of the negative impacts of current practices. The aim of the scheme is to encourage fishers to adopt measures for sustainable fishing, through selective fishing and the derating of engines. Selective fishing methods and gears target and capture organisms by size or species during the fishing operation, allowing non-targeted specimens to be avoided or released unharmed. In addition, the use of biodegradable fishing gear reduces unwanted catches and minimises the negative impact of fishing activities on the marine environment. Furthermore, the reduction of engine power helps to limit the emission of nitrogen oxides from marine diesel engines, in an effort to reduce the impact on the environment. 

BFT Aid Scheme for Fishers and COVID-19 Financial Aid Scheme 

The aim of these financial aid schemes was to provide financial support to fish vessel owners that are registered with the DFA as MFA and MFB to compensate for some of the drop in monetary value and demand for local fish and fisheries products as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Compensation Scheme for Fishers Due to the Increase of Fuel Prices Caused by the Russian Aggression Against Ukraine 

Due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the DFA felt the need to continue supporting fishers due to the increase in fuel prices caused by the war between Ukraine and Russia.  National Funds were allocated so that the Maltese Government can intervene financially to alleviate the operating costs incurred by Maltese and Gozitan fishers while carrying out their work.

Ongoing and Recently Completed projects funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund –

Control Projects 

In line with Article 76 of Regulation No 508/2014 and the EMFF operational programme for Malta, the Projects Unit in collaboration with the Fisheries Control Unit, amongst other activities, is currently implementing the following initiatives to enhance the DFA’s monitoring and surveillance capabilities - 

Purchase of Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats;
Purchase of Hand Pallet Trucks; 
Purchase of Stereoscopic Cameras and Ancillary Equipment;  
Purchase and Installation of Electronic Tablets and E-logbooks; 
Purchase of CCTV Equipment;
Purchase and Installation of VMS Equipment;
Purchase and Installation of GPRS Trackers;
Completion of Audits and Cost Benefit Analyses;
Purchase of Electric Vehicles; 
Purchase of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles;
Reimbursement of Joint Deployment Plans and Travel; 
Organisation of Seminars and Publicity Campaigns.

Training for Fishers 

In recent years the DFA was able to promote further human capital in the local fisheries sector through the provision of specialised training courses to fishers and their spouses. The main aim of the training courses was to improve knowledge amongst fishers about food safety and hygiene, health and safety at sea, and training on how to make the best use of navigation equipment. Through an investment of around €450,000, 363 fishers benefitted from the training offered as part of this project.  

Swordfish Temporary Cessation Scheme

The Swordfish Temporary Cessation Scheme, which was launched for three consecutive years, provided financial compensation to MFA and MFB fishing vessel owners that fish for Swordfish. The aim of the scheme was to promote further the recovery of Swordfish stocks by extending the closed season with an additional month. The scheme provided financial compensation to fishers that opted to not go out at sea during the month of December.

Nesploraw Flimkien it-Tezori tal-Bahar!

The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA) in partnership with the National Literacy Agency (NLA) and the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes (DLAP) launched a promotional campaign, holding the title Nesploraw Flimkien it-Teżori tal-Baħar! The main scope of this campaign was to communicate the following three (3) principle messages: (i) awareness of the state of the local fish stocks, (ii) sustainable fish consumption and (iii) the role of each individual in assisting conservation efforts. Several mediums were used to disseminate the aims of the campaign, including the distribution/airing of an illustrated book, leaflets, posters, sticker sheets, TV adverts, Radio adverts and adverts on social media. In addition, a three-day open weekend was held at the pixxkerija and several school visits were also conducted as part of this promotional campaign. 

Construction and Finishing of an Office in Marsaxlokk

In recent years the Projects Unit completed the construction of a landing office in the designated fishing port of Marsaxlokk. This office was deemed necessary by the DFA in order to facilitate fish landing in the south-eastern region of the Maltese Islands. In addition, the office enables the DFA to extend accessibility of its services to fishers, such as transfer of vessels, registration of fishing gear and collection of fishing licences, through the placement of a DFA official on site. 

Planned Initiatives 

Through the use of funds made available to the DFA from National Funds and the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF), the Projects Unit is planning to implement the following initiatives in the coming months-
Exchange Programmes; 
Training Courses for Fishers; 
Promotional Campaigns to Promote Sustainable Fish Consumption;
Purchase of Equipment to Enhance Monitoring and Control in the Sector;
Aid Schemes to Support fishers with the Increase in Operational Expenses. 

Useful Info