Current Affairs
“We have different species of dolphins and whales in Maltese waters”

Sea Marvel project is a research project that covers the impact on sea pollution, including plastic material, and involves various persons from different sectors of society. The study is expected to shed light on the state of the Maltese islands’ waters from which our health and economy depends.

University of Malta researcher, Prof. Adriana Vella who has for years worked on various studies, says that in Malta we have different species of dolphins and whales.

“We found that around the Maltese islands we have different creatures, different species of dolphins and whales in our waters”.

Whales have an important role in mitigating climate change and their role in the maritime eco-system is crucial for the health of oceans as they sustain fish supply. Prof Vella stated that studies by economists show that whales provide a valid contribution in containing climate change.

“Due to noise pollution, plastic material in our seas, many of these whales are being found dead along Mediterranean coasts, many of them filled with plastic”.

The Sea Marvel project will involve students in schools, youths, fishermen and sailors and persons involved in sea business. Prof. Vella said that despite steps being taken to reduce plastic pollution, many plastic material ends up at sea, together with what is known as microplastic.

“Plastic which degenerates into small pieces enters into the the sea mammals diet system and also ends up in our diet. We may also start suffering from health conditions affected by this type of pollution….this is very serious”.

The maritime environment, especially for the Maltese islands, is important even because the country’s economy is based on sea activities. “Many of the resources we are finding for food and even medicines, for technology…….we are talking about bio-technology and blue technologies….but how much of these things are we using in a sustainable way?”

Prof. Vella added that research is important to ensure that the maritime environment is kept healthy and today’s resources will remain available for future generations.