An agreement has been reached between Nature Trust Malta and the Malta Tourism Authority which will lead to a marine park in Cirkewwa. In the words of the operators, this will be the first park of its type inn Malta, with one of the first steps being a study of the seabed and inventory of what there is at this site. The project will lead to this becoming a protected underwater zone to create more marine biodiversity.
The MTA and Nature Trust Malta have signed an agreement by means of which the authority will give €300,000 each year for three years. Nature Trust Malta said that it will be applying for European funds because the project costs €4.5 million.
The aim of the marine park is to increase biodiversity, while creating a zone for fishing and economic activity which is generated by tourism because, among other things, it attracts divers. The President of Nature Trust Malta, Vince Attard, said that right now the plan is for consultations to begin with all stakeholders.
“We are also going to launch a study to make an inventory of everything here. Once this is ready we can start working on “zonations” to establish, for example, where one can fish, where one can dive, and a no go area because of the fish. This will lead to a holistic plan for the entire area.”
Mr Attard explained that discussions will take place with Transport Malta so that boats will not be allowed to enter into the marine park zone.
Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said that the marine park project is the first of its type in Malta and will lead to sustainable tourism.
“In this way, we are ensuring that tourism in our country will continue to be better than the previous years. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to really invest in our environment so that it continues to be our priority. Thanks to the investment in this zone, those who come after us can enjoy more biodiversity and an increase in fish, which obviously is the main attraction for divers who come on diving holidays.”
Minister Bartolo said that marine parks have always been considered as a priority in the further development of the diving industry.
At the same activity, a turtle by the name of Kim, who is 8 years old was released. A tracker was placed on Kim so that Nature Trust Malta will continue to be updated on its movements.