For the first time ever three maritime zones have been identified where amateur fishermen may place their markers and tackles to fish for lampuki. This is a pilot project.
Before the lampuki season opens those interested have to register their interest with the Department for Fisheries to be able to benefit from this initiative.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, Anton Refalo, said if this project succeeds it will be extended in the future.
We went to the picturesque seaside fishing village of Marsaxlokk … synonymous with fishery activities where for scores of years fishermen have spent days at sea to earn their livelihood just a few days before the opening of the lampuki season in August, a fish highly prized by the community.
Melchior explained the chores of fish netting and their attachment to floats and swivers and all have to be handmade with sewing and this takes months of preparations. His face reflected his passion for fishing but older generations remember when fish were more abundant.
Ġanni said in the past their boats would be loaded with fish but nowadays one may well sail out and find no lampuki because these have declined in quantity or otherwise the numbers of fishermen have increased but the abundance of fish cannot be related to the past.
The rituals of catching this fish are also popular among amateur fishermen and now these, for the first time ever, stand to benefit from this Government scheme.
The Director of Aquaculture within the Ministry, Dennis Calleja, explained to TVM that three maritime zones have been identified where amateur fishermen may lay their tackle.
He said that two are in the east region and the other west but the number of floats they can lay is limited and must not exceed 30 and the area available will be equally distributed between all applicants.
Minister Refalo explained to Television Malta that this project for amateur fishermen may be extended even further under certain conditions of catches being reported to the Fisheries Department.
The lampuki season begins on 15th August and lasts until the end of December.