Fisheries Research Unit
FRU LogoAt the Fisheries Research Unit (FRU) within the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, we collect and analyse multi-faceted data sets on the Maltese fisheries sector, from which we infer the state of fisheries resources within GSA 15, including the 25 nm Fisheries Management Zone around the Maltese Islands. The FRU constantly proposes effective measures to manage the fisheries resources from the ecological and socio-economic perspectives. The FRU also takes part in international meetings, where data is analysed and from which scientific advice towards the regional management of fisheries emanate. In addition, FRU Officers also participates in various projects which deal with different aspects of data collection, analysis for the provision of scientific advice and marine spatial planning.

The objectives of the Fisheries Research Unit are:
      • Collecting sound transversal (such as fishing activity, capacity and effort landings), biological and economic data from the fisheries sector, in accordance with international requirements; 
      • Analysing the collected data in order to study trends and assess sustainability of the fishing practices and trends; 
      • ​Provide scientific advice on the way forward and the best possible way to manage the available stocks.​

Overview of Provide scientific adviceanalysing data collectedcollecting sound transversal data

On-going projects in which the FRU actively participates:​

·        Data Collection Multi-Annual Programme: The collection of fisheries data is regulated through the European Union Fisheries DataCollection Multi-Annual Programme (DC-MAP). Malta covers the areas of fishing capacity and effort, catch and landing statistics, biological parameters,  scientific surveys and economics of the fishing fleet, fish processing and aquaculture industries. The programme thus contributes to a better knowledge of the main fishery resources of Malta from the biological, economical, and social points of view. A bilateral agreement​ between Malta and Cyprus for the sampling of a shared métier in GSA 15 within their DC-MAP National Work Plans under the Data Collection Framework has been in effect since 2009. ​This project is part-financed by the European Union European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) at a co-financing rate of 80% EU Funds and 20% National funds.​

Biological variables as part of fisheries-dependent data is collected within the defined sampling methodology and quality assurance documentation.
Data collection of the fleet activity variables, also referred to as transversal variables, is carried out as per the stipulated sampling methodology and quality assurance documentation​.

Data collection Multi Annual Programme2 years review of professional fishing fleet

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  • ​​​​​NETTAG+
NETTAG+ project aims to reduce and prevent marine litter derived from fisheries by working directly with fishers through an integrative preventive approach including reducing lost gear by using new technologies (acoustic localisation system) that help fishermen to locate and recover lost gear and promoting better practices on the management of fishing waste through awareness raising actions organised by fishers’ associations for fishermen.
The project is in line with the previous project NetTag and intends to:
1.     Upscale the technological acoustic solution to locate and recover fishing gears in case of loss, and thus preventing lost gear
2.     Capitalise the key role fishers have on marine litter (including fishing activities litter) reduction/prevention by promoting awareness actions for best practices on-board and off-board regarding litter management.
3.     A third solution will be developed to detect and remove lost gear, cleaning hotspots and promoting recovery of impacted environments.
These three solutions are focused in three main areas of actions:
PREVENT - Fishers as guardians of the ocean. Awareness actions to promote best practices on board regarding the management of litter, including the litter produced on-board and the litter passively caught by the gears. Capitalise the role of fishers in cleaning the ocean and providing a service for free for all of us.
AVOID - Fishing gears location with acoustic tags. Improving and upscaling the acoustic tags already developed with important features like small size, low cost and the capacity to be silent always unless an emitter is actuated. It is intended to upgrade the robotic system to search and localise the tags with improved autonomy and increased search area.
MITIGATE - Detection and removal of ghost fishing nets (Map, Track and Recover). This solution does not come from the previous project NetTag, so it will focus on the development of robotic tools for acoustic advanced techniques to develop a system able to detect abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gears (ALDFGs) on a robotic platform.

·        MedSudMed: This MedSudMed "Assessment and Monitoring of the Fishery Resources and the Ecosystems in the Straits of Sicily" FAO project was launched at the end of 2001. Four countries participate in this project: Italy, Libya, Malta and Tunisia. The main objectives of MedSudMed are to increase the scientific knowledge on the ecosystems of the project area, to strengthen national and regional expertise, and to develop scientific cooperation in order to promote the standardisation of the methodologies used in fisheries research.

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·     European Environment Information and Observation Network - The European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET) is a partnership network of the European Environment Agency and its thirty-eight member and cooperating countries. The concept of EIONET incorporates the following principles:

·        Institutional cooperation and collaboration coupled with public involvement and participation

·        Ensuring common content, focusing on data, information, indicators, and analysis

·        Establishing shared environmental information infrastructure, standards, and web-based tools

​ The Environment and Resources Authority is designated as Malta’s National Focal Point on EIONET.​              The ​Fisheries Research Unit is involved in the following thematic groups:

·        Biodiversity and Ecosystems 1

·        Biodiversity and Ecosystems 2

·        Data, technologies, and digitalisation​

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·        LIFE PanPuffinus: This project aims to improve the conservation status of two endangered Puffinus species across the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic coast of Portugal by tackling two major threats on land and at sea through transboundary conservation efforts. By exchanging experiences between countries working on the conservation of these pelagic seabirds, our partnership will lead to the development of improved monitoring and data collection, strengthened stakeholder collaboration, increased efficiency of conservation efforts and better assessment of threats in order to minimize their impact. The project actions will also contribute to the implementation of International Species Action Plans for both species.

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lifepan puffinus leaflet how to ensure population


·    BLUEfasma: The BLUEfasma project integrates and implements the Circular Economy principles in blue growth sectors such as fisheries and aquaculture. This will be done to benefit the MED insular/coastal areas in an innovative manner. The main objective of this project is to empower Small to Medium Enterprises, PAs and maritime clusters to boost blue Circular Economy growth in insular and coastal areas. Circular Economy aims to close energy and material loops resulting in the prevention of natural resource depletion.
The main focus of the BLUEfasma Project in Malta is to ensure that CE principles are instilled in the Maltese fisheries sector. To this end, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture will organize two BLUEfasma Living Labs with the participation of local stakeholders. BLUEfasma project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg MED Programme 2014-2020 within the framework of the third call for proposals for modular projects, under priority axis 1.1​

Based on its experiences and building on its results, BLUEfasma has published its final booklet focusing on the circular economy potential of fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The five BLUEfasma tools, the results of 11 BLUEfasma Living Labs, the project's policy recommendations and white paper fostering the Circular Economy transition are all summarised in this booklet. The booklet is available in the English and Maltese languages. 

A brief video summarising the BLUEfasma project, including participation by the Fisheries Research Unit as project partners, is available here​

BlueFasma Project Logo 

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    • Streamline
“Streamlining the establishment of regional work plans in the Mediterranean and Black Sea”, is a project funded under the EU Call for Proposals MARE/2020/08.  STREAMLINE will support the operation and functioning of the Regional Coordination Group for the Mediterranean and Black Sea (RCG Med&BS), helping to advance beyond national approaches, and achieve the expected results of coordinated regional work for the fisheries data collection. The STREAMLINE Consortium is composed of 15 institutes with scientific and technical capacities, including the FRU, that provide scientific advice and other services in support of the Common Fisheries Policy and the strengthening of the regional cooperation in the fisheries data collection he Mediterranean and Black Sea.
The FRU as project partner, will help to produce the STREAMLINE outputs, by amongst others, participate in workshops in order to train our national experts on the available tools and procedures, attend meetings to work on case studies and design draft regional work plans, and be part of a permanent decision-making structure for the design and implementation of regional work plans, which will be fed into the EU-MAP 2022-2024 starting from 2023.

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Past projects:


·        Data Collection Framework: Under the European Union Data Collection Framework (DCF), the Member States collected, managed and made available a wide range of fisheries data needed for scientific advice. This framework was reformed in 2017 by the current Data Collection Multi-Annual Programme. 

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·        A Scientific Study to Improve Trawl Gear Selectivity: This project includes a desktop study, marine surveys and analysis of so as to improve the gear selectivity of the 40mm square mesh size currently in use by the Maltese otter board trawling fleet so as to reduce discards of Merluccius merluccius (European hake) and Parapenaeus longirostris (deep-water rose shrimp). Two methods to improve the gear selectivity for each of these two species will be tested. 

·        MANTIS:  The MANTIS project, ‘Marine protected Areas Network Towards Sustainable fisheries in the Central Mediterranean’ falls under the MARE/2014/41 Tender. The main aims are:

1.      To review and integrate the knowledge produced in previous national and EU funded projects on space time dynamics of exploited living resources and on Ecosystem Approach to Fishery in the Central Mediterranean; and 

2.      To investigate how a network of MMAs (Marine Managed Areas) can contribute to improve sustainable fisheries in the Central Mediterranean including the Strait of Sicily and the Adriatic Sea, whilst promoting ecosystem services such as reservoirs of biodiversity and functioning food webs.

The MANTIS’ activities were organised into six Work Packages. The objectives were developed in two case studies: the Northern Sector of the Strait of Sicily (GSA 15, 16) and the Central-Northern Adriatic (GSA17). Other adjacent areas were considered when appropriate. 

This project started in December 2015 and ended in April 2019 and was part-financed by the European Union European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) at a co-financing rate of 75% EU Funds and 25% National funds. The project results were disseminated by workshops, media, congresses and peer-reviewed articles. For further information on the outcomes of this project, we invite you to download the final report​.

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·        LIFE BaĦAR for N2K: LIFE BaĦAR for N2K aims to extend existing marine Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) and identify new SCIs for inclusion within the Natura 2000 network. This project will gather existing and new data on the location, range and conservation status of Annex I marine habitats as listed in the Habitats Directive, primarily sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time, reefs and submerged or partially submerged sea caves.

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·        GAP2: The pan-European GAP2  project focused on collaborative research – encouraging fishers, scientists and policy-makers to carry out scientific research together, and using this research to help inform and shape policy. The aim of the project was to facilitate meaningful engagement with stakeholders, so that solutions could be developed for sustainable fisheries and fishing communities. The Maltese case study focused on better management of the trawler fisheries fleet within Malta’s 25 nm Fisheries Management Zone.

gap logogap  gathering knowledge

·        MESMA: MESMA, an FP-7 project, dealt with the monitoring and evaluation of spatially managed marine areas. MESMA provided guidance and tools to support the implementation of marine spatial planning in Europe’s seas. These included advice, tools and information on human uses, biotope classification / distributions, governance processes and different approaches to conflict management. It also provided a firm basis for the further design and implementation of Marine Spatial Planning policies especially the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

·        CREAM: The aim of the CREAM project, Coordinating Research in support to application of Ecosystem Approach to fisheries and Management advice in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, was the establishment of an effective collaboration network among key role players in Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries research and management. The participants in the project included national research institutes from Mediterranean and Black Sea countries with a long history and active participation in fisheries research and assessment, who provide advice to national, regional and international fisheries management organisations.

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·        MAREA: The aim of the MAREA (Mediterranean hAlieutic Resources Evaluation and Advice) consortium was to provide scientific advice and/or other specific preliminary services according to the following terms of reference: (i) Assessment of the state of aquatic living resources and advise on fisheries management scenarios; (ii) Ecosystems knowledge and its integration into fisheries management; (iii) Monitoring of specific fisheries and fishing gears not included or insufficiently covered in the data collection framework or for which such a work has not yet been done or is not going to be done on the short-term or on a regular basis; and (iv) Effects of pollutants and of other human activities at sea on aquatic leaving resources and fisheries. The project included the collation of existing scientific and bibliographic information, the collection of new scientific and technical information, including, where appropriate by carrying out surveys or trials at sea and in the ports, the carrying out of scientific evaluations and modelling, the analysis of data quality, and identification of and access to independent expertise and studies.

·        Strengthening regional cooperation in the area of fisheries data collection in the Mediterranean and Black Sea: This project falls under the MARE/2014/19 Tender and the overall aim was to lay out a regional work programme outlining the planned activities and the corresponding timeframe and costs, including costs/benefits, in relation to the current implementation at Member State level. This regional work programme, defined as Multiannual Regional Work Programme, will include a ‘Regional Sampling Programme for 2016 covering Commercial Fisheries, a Regional Sampling Programme for 2016 covering the Data Collection on Fisheries Impacts on the Ecosystem and Procedures to Quality Assessment of Biological Data at regional level.  

FRU benefits from such projects through training courses attended by FRU staff, contacts with experts and working relationships, and a range of tools and techniques which can be used for fisheries management.


The aim of HARMONY is to suggest a set of monitoring and control measures between Italy and Malta, two cross-border countries. The project will provide interventions to jointly recognize (i) the integrity of marine seafloor and the inhabiting species and ii) the effects of habitat fragmentation in facilitating the diffusion of Non-Indigenous Species (NIS). By integrating these two aspects, HARMONY will reach a better understanding of marine ecosystem functioning in a cross-border context.  In order to meet the set of mandatory descriptors and indicators suggested by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Descriptor 2 “Non-indigenous Species” and Descriptor 6 “Sea-floor integrity”), an integrated interventions and measures of monitoring will be developed, with the aim to suggest management plans of Natura 2000 sites and habitats. This is requested to avoid future conflicts, reduce the risk of ecosystem loss and prevent the impoverishment of goods and services.

  •  CopeMed II: 

The Coordination to Support Fisheries Management in the Western and Central Mediterranean, CopeMed II, is another FAO project. The participating countries are Malta, Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia. The overall objective of CopeMed II is to maintain the sustainability of the marine resources in the central and western sub-regions and its ecosystem, taking into account environmental, biological, economical, social and institutional issues, particularly through the promotion of scientific cooperation among the countries

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Data reporting obligations 
In addition to EU obligations, Malta also collects fisheries data in accordance with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas recommendations and the requirements of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). 

  • ​​General fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean

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In addition to EU obligations, Malta also collects fisheries data in accordance with requirements of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).​ The data gathered by the members of the GFCM encompass area-based data on national fleets and their activities, socio-economic data, catch and effort and biological information on main species, including discards and incidental catch of vulnerable species. The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean develops sustainable aquaculture practices in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and connected bodies of water. It aims to best develop living marine resources with conservation and long-term objectives in mind.  In terms of rational management, it is open to all bordering nation states as well as certain United Nations’ members.  All the data related to fisheries in the GFCM area of application, as necessary by applicable GFCM recommendations, are gathered and transmitted by contracting Parties and cooperating non-Contracting Parties (CPCs) through the data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF). The DCRF is a key element in achieving an efficient data collection programme throughout the region, and in integrating data collection with subregional multiannual management plans.  It is consistently reviewed by GFCM subsidiary bodies in light of any new recommendations or requirements from the GFCM. The DCRF manual directs the CPCs through the correct processes for collecting fisheries data and submitting them in standardized way to the GFCM through the DCRF online platform. This manual is updated and published by the GFCM secretariat at least once a year. 

GFCM 2030 Strategy for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea involves 2 seas, 1 vision and 5 targets. The 2030 Strategy clearly defines aims and is rooted in practical actions. These five targets involve:

Target 1: Productive fisheries in healthy seas.

Target 2: Effective compliance and enforcement mechanisms.
Target 3: Promote new technology and best practices with regards to aquaculture.

Target 4: Thriving communities and better livelihoods right along the value chain.

Target 5: Use GFCM expertise and convening power to build capacity and provide technical support at the national and subregional levels to ensure policy commitments made by the GFCM Membership are met, establishing a level playing field across the region.

For further information please follow this QR code:

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  • International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 

International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas is an inter-governmental fishery organization responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas. In Malta the data collected for the purposes of ICCAT is regarding catches of blue fin tuna, swordfish and other large pelagic species, in particular, data on landings, tuna harvesting, and age data.

​The Regional Coordination Groups

Regional Coordination Groups for Fisheries Data Collection Logo 
According to Article 8 of the Regulation (EC) No 2017/1004 (Data Collection Framework, DCF), Member States shall cooperate and coordinate their actions to further improve the quality, timeliness and coverage of data enabling the reliability of data collection methods to be further improved, with a view to improving their data collection activities. Further, according to article 9 (1) of the same regulation, Member States shall coordinate their data collection activities with other Member States in the same marine region and shall make every effort to coordinate their actions with third countries having sovereignty or jurisdiction over waters in the same marine region. 

In order to facilitate regional coordination, Regional Coordination Groups (RCGs) shall be established by the relevant Member States for each marine region (Article 9(2) of the Regulation (EC) No 2017/1004). An RCG consists of experts appointed by Member States, including national correspondents, end users and the Commission and a meeting is held annually. Regional coordination has been conducted through various constellations since 2004. In 2019, the following five Regional Coordination Groups operating under the DCF were established: 

RCG Baltic (Baltic), 
RCG North Atlantic, North Sea & Eastern Arctic (NANS&EA), 
RCG Mediterranean and Black Sea (Med&BS), 
RCG Long Distance Fisheries (LDF)
RCG Large Pelagics (LP)

The RCG Secretariat has also published a video​ to showcase the dedication of the members of the RCGs and the importance of these groups at the regional level. Malta is involved in three of the above mentioned RCGs, and the Fisheries Research Unit is the official national representative of the following RCGs:  

1.RCG Med&BS - Regional Coordination Group Mediterranean and Black Sea. 

Regional Coordination Group – Mediterranean and Black Sea Logo

The Regional Coordination Group on Economic Issues (RCG ECON) was established in 2021 as an expert group to assist the Commission in the implementation of the Data Collection Framework concerning the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the Common Fisheries Policy. The following member states are involved in this RCG: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. The European commission and ICES (The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) are also involved in RCG ECON.

3.RCG LP - Regional Coordination Group Large Pelagics

Regional Coordination Group – Mediterranean and Black Sea Logo

The member states participating in this RCG are Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. Moreover, the ICCAT, IOTC, ICES, and the European commission are also involved in RCG LP. In 2023 the FRU will have the opportunity to co-chair RCG LP​ along with Ireland, and in 2024 the FRU will be chairing along with Italy. 

Collaboration with other entities

Through the respective memoranda of understanding, the FRU continuously collaborates with academic institutions, including the Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology (MCAST) and the University of Malta, along with other governmental entities, such as the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), and the National Statistics Office (NSO).
National Statistics Office Malta Logo              ERA LogoMCAST Logo                  University of Malta Logo

Research Publications:




Mapping small-scale fisheries through a coordinated​ participatory strategy

F. Grati, E. Azzurro, M. Scanu, A.N Tassetti, L. Bolognini, S. Guicciardi, S. Vitale, D. Scannella, P. Carbonara, B. Dragičević, Z. Ikica, A. Palluqi, B. Marčeta, H. Ghmati, A. Turki, Mourad Cherif, M. Cherif, M. Bdioui, O. Jarboui, N. Benhadjhamida, *J. Mifsud, N. Milone, L. Ceriola, & E. Arneri.​​

A Global Review on the Biology of the Dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) and Its Fishery in the Mediterranean Sea: Advances in the Last Two Decades


V. Moltó, P. Hernández, M. Sinopoli, A. Besbes-Benseddik, R. Besbes, A. Mariani, **M. Gambin, F. Alemany, B. Morales-Nin, A. María Grau, J. Antonio Camiñas, J. Carlos Báez, M. Vasconcellos, L. Ceriola & I.A Catalán

Marine litter from circalittoral and deeper bottoms off the Maltese islands (Central Mediterranean)



Deep-water cephalopods from GFCM geographical sub-area 15 (central mediterranean).

Mifsud & Schembri

Mifsud & Schembri (2016) Rapp Comm int Mer Médit 41 p468.pdf

​​*Chief Scientific officer
**Scientific officer
***Senior manager 

FRU Graphic designs

To promote our on-going research and projects, we have designed the following informative graphics along with the FRU brochure.
Alien species

Alien species are those that occur outside their natural range and dispersal potential. They are often spread by human activity, whether intended or unintended, to new areas where they may spread aggressively and subsequently threaten indigenous ecosystem function and biodiversity. They may also cause economic harm and adversely affect human health. Alien species also include taxa below species level, such as subspecies, varieties, cultivars and hybrids. The Maltese Islands are an important station for monitoring the spread of marine alien species. These may be Atlantic immigrants entering the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar or Red-Sea and Indo-Pacific species that have gained access through the Suez Canal.   An example of alien species in Maltese waters is the Siganus luridus (dusky spine foot) which is a successful lessepsian colonizer. This species entered the Mediterranean from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal and colonized the Levantine coasts, where they established large population. The Fisheries Research Unit records all alien species brought into the laboratory in order produce a comprehensive list of what is being caught in our seas. 

 Blue economy
Circular blue economy is defined as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs, while preserving the health of the marine environment, is crucial in a sustainable development approach. Fishing and aquaculture are key blue economy sectors of insular and coastal areas, such as Malta. To tackle the transnational challenge of continual depletion of natural resources that causes serious environmental, economic, and social impacts, Malta participated in the BLUEfasma project. BLUEfasma has developed the BLUEfasma online platform, a web-based application hosting the BLUEfasma tools and solutions, to increase blue actors’ capacity and reinforce transnational cooperation towards a blue circular economy in the sector of fishing and aquaculture. Blue growth is achieved through the sustainable use and management of ocean resources across the interlinked sectors of tourism, biodiversity conservation, fisheries, marine transport, renewable energy, and waste management. An example of such approach is the economic diversification which is illustrated in the below graphic design, such as fishers using their fishing vessels for tourism, known as pesca-tourism, instead of using their vessels for fishing activity. 

Catch and release

Catch and release is a practice that involves the immediate release of fish once caught. It is mainly practiced by recreational fishers and may be an effective conservation strategy when it is appropriately conducted. This approach helps sustain fish populations since it allows more fish to remain and reproduce in the ecosystem. Minimum landing sizes and quotas for specific species help to reach this goal. 


Climate change

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. In addressing climate change issues, it is essential to recognize that, almost invariably, it is not the only threat or stressor on a fisheries system but an additional, possibly unidirectional one, adding to what is typically a range of other stressors and uncertainties from anthropogenic and natural causes. An important measure we must take is to support the local fisherman and eat local fish in order to reduce the carbon footprint. There are frequent references to efforts to ensure effective management of the fisheries and to reduce the impacts from other stressors. These include implementation of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related instruments, ecosystem approaches to fisheries, spatial planning including effective systems of marine protected areas, ensuring participatory systems of governance, and strengthening control and enforcement in the fisheries sector. The Fisheries Research Unit has several projects and studies which aid in helping the species and lean towards an ecofriendly fishing sector. This involves the LIFE PanPuffinus and BLUEFasma projects, along with sampling of marine plastics and surveying of marine habitats.

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Dual roles
Our fishers have taken another complementary role, that of data collectors since they gather data on their fishing activity. The fishers collaborate with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in numerous projects and are often involved in the design and implementation of FRU’s research activities. It is well-known that the combination of scientific information with fishers’ perceptions may be a robust approach for directing decision-makers working with marine ecosystems.


Maritime spatial planning

Marine spatial planning is a continuously ongoing process of analysing and allocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives. The main legislative act for spatial planning in Malta is the Development Planning Act of 2016 which also addresses development at sea.

Maritime Spatial planning. 
Marine plastic pollution

Marine pollution is a combination of chemicals and trash, it mostly originates from land sources and is then washed or blown into the ocean. This pollution negatively impacts the environment and the organisms within. The FRU collects information on marine litter during the annual MEDITS survey, and we have multiple upcoming projects which will further assess and help decrease marine plastic pollution. 


Science-based decision-making process

The EU is the main user of fisheries scientific knowledge as part of its decision-making process relating to the management framework and instruments of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The CFP is one of the most science-dependent common policies in the portfolio of the EU. The primary goal of the CFP is to ensure sustainable fisheries and guarantee incomes and stable jobs for fishers. The objectives of the CFP include the preservation of fish stocks, protection of the marine environment, economic viability of EU fleets and to provide consumers with quality food. The CFP also incorporates the principle of environmental and socio-economic sustainable use of living aquatic resources in a balanced manner. The FRU provides the necessary scientific advice for the drafting of the respective policies to ensure that our fisheries sector is sustainably managed.