FROM: VRFCC Malta
ATTN MEMBERSCatch and Release Programme of Bluefin Tuna
According to ICCAT Regulation 08-05 and Council Regulation (EC) No 302/2009, ?Each Member State shall issue fishing authorisations to vessels for the purpose of recreational fishing.? Therefore, sport and recreational fishing could not be conducted unless the vessels have a special authorisation and allocation of quota issued by the Fisheries Control Department.
Several calls of interest were published on local news papers and Government Gazette during the months of May for those who wished to apply for a special authorisation. However, due to the peak in catches during the last few days of the season that overshot the contingency allocation of the national bluefin tuna catch quota, all bluefin tuna fishing activities were halted with immediate effect.
In view of this closure all authorisations to recreational fishing vessels to fish for BFT were revoked. As such no recreational vessels can fish and land bluefin tuna. However a catch and release programme can be accepted till the 14th of October.
The Associations taking part in the catch and release programme have to register with the Fisheries Control Department. Mr. Marvin Seguna should be contacted and a list of vessels that will participate in the catch and release programme have to be sent to the same Department. All catches and releases have to be recorded and submitted to the Fisheries Control Department by the end of October.
If you would like to legally fish for Bluefin Tuna and carry the necessary equipment on a stricly catch, release and record basis, kindly provide your vessel name and registration number below.
We will then forward this information to the officer in charge at the VRFCC