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Author Topic: Discussion on Marine Protected Areas  (Read 18744 times)
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baghira
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« on: August 30, 2010, 12:25:31 CET »

Anyone who wishes to comment re: subject in caption, please do so underneath this Thread.
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baghira
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 18:52:54 CET »

There is for sure 1 Notice to Mariners re: Dwejra Area but I cannot trace.
Anyone knows about it?
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caldaland
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 18:59:31 CET »

very dedicated work baghira. most appreciated thanks
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 20:47:45 CET »

Thanks Baghira great work, are you sure about the current status vis-a-vis Filfla area and fishing with rixa/angling for pelagic fish. The correspondence I had last year with the authorities was that this was permitted providing no anchoring, no diving/spearfishing without prior authorisation.

Did you specifically discuss this in your recent meeting?
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baghira
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 09:14:36 CET »

I was told this by word of mouth yes.
I did not find any exact reference.
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Moonwalker
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 10:19:20 CET »

Is any kind of fishing still permitted in these areas?
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baghira
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 13:59:23 CET »

which areas moon??
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Moonwalker
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2010, 01:12:28 CET »

My main interest is the Gnejna area. I think I read that although it is an area of conservation, fishing is still permitted for now.
However I am hearing too many comments that fishing will soon be over in that area. So can you confirm this?
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baghira
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 18:07:33 CET »

Fishing is still being permitted due to the fact that discussions are ongoing about the zoning, and due to the fact that they did not agree on who will enforce these laws.
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MartinB
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 23:48:50 CET »

First off thanks for you dedicated work  Smiley it beats trying to sort through all the rumours flying around! Like moonwalker this is one of my areas of interest also (gnejna & surrounding area) and the fact that after all this time they still haven't figured out the zoning and enforcement issues dosen't exactly fill me with confidence especially where us casual/sport anglers are concerned Lips sealed
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caldaland
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2010, 13:51:55 CET »

if they are going to continue to close fishing grounds we are going to end up like this! Cheesy

http://www.yeah-oops.com/wp-content/uploads/_fishing.jpg
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Arti2
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2010, 14:28:32 CET »

I think the  whole island is gonna finish as a marine protected. I think it would have been a better idea if there was a close season. They are doing everything for the tourists and diving schools. But nothing is done for our hobbies.
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Arti2
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2010, 09:10:22 CET »

You are right freedive but at least a closed season for trammel nets must be immediately introduced or else it will be the end of coastal fishing.

As I said everything is being controlled fish sizes for us who go spearfishing, Tuna fishing etc. There are local wardens like that come to talk to you and see what the individual catches. The thing is happening regularly at Marsascala areas. But the most culprit of all, that is trammel nets are not being controlled!

I saw one trammel made in Italy that had very small meshes and had many small fish caught in it. I never saw anyone talking to guys like these. But on the other hand I saw one of these wardens who went to see a guy who was spearfishing and checking his catch. Maybe the law is not for everyone!

As for the Marine protected areas, I think they will not be protected at all because these kind of individuals will keep throwing their nets at night. You'll need a fulltime patrol boat near every protected area.

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Antonio Anastasi
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 00:26:54 CET »

The Cirkewwa Voluntary Marine Reserve.

For those peolple that do not dive Cirkewwa is a unique environmnet reflecting ALL Mediterranean marine environments.

In view of this I felt that it deserves to be protected, and that this protection needs to come from us, divers, snorklers, fishermen, anglers, as we the users are aware of the social and cultural importance of the sea to us.

So I started with the diving community getting the support and agreement on a code of conduct for divers copied here

CIRKEWWA OFFERS A RICH AND DIVERSE RANGE OF MARINE LIFE, YOUR CO-OPERATION IN PROTECTING THIS AREA FOR FUTURE ENJOYMENT WOULD BE EXTREMELY VALUABLE.

PLEASE ADOPT RESPONSIBLE DIVE PRACTICES TO AVOID DAMAGING MARINE LIFE BY:

    Ensuring that you are in good control of your buoyancy at all times, and avoid using rocks as ballast as they are living reefs
    Avoid excessive finning in close proximity to the reef as it can dislodge and damage life.
    Keep your equipment secured and streamlined

PLEASE ADOPT A RESPECTFUL AND PASSIVE APPROACH TO MARINE LIFE:

    Do not harass flora or fauna
    Do not collect souvenirs (dead or alive)
    Whenever possible avoid swimming under overhangs as bubbles can damage delicate coral growth, including star corals (Astroides calycularis) which are a protected species.
    Avoid entering areas of wrecks where squid eggs hang as bad buoyancy or bubbles can dislodge these
    Do not remove octopus from their dens as they may be protecting eggs
    When swimming over sand take care to not stir up the environment as sand are living habitats

Dive boats should try to not anchor too close to wrecks as they may damage unique sea grass beds, or on Posidonia Meadows as they are a keystone species in housing ecosystems and are also a protected species.

    Do not damage urchins, as the rock sea urchin and the Needle-Spined Urchin (Cetrostephanus longispinus) are protected species
    Do not spearfish, especially with aqua lung as it is illegal
    Do not leave any litter in the sea or surrounding area, please use bins provided

We will also be asking MEPA, the TRANSPORT AUTHORITY, FISHERIES to do their part and ensure that the police presence at the Cirkewwa terminal, roster in regular foot patrols as a deterrent to illegal fishing.

On the 14Th of December, we launched the CIRKEWWA VOLUNTARY MARINE RESERVE (VMR). We did this during the Annual General Meeting of the FEDERATION OF UNDERWATER ACTIVITIES (FUA).

To date we have the support of ATLAM, FUA, AMPHEPIANS CASC, PDSA, and Nature Trust.

We have also held discussions with the MFA.

What is a Voluntary Marine Reserve?

A VMR is a marine reserve in which users agree to abide by a code of conduct allowing all users to get the best out of the area with an eye to its preservation for future users. It is a gentlemen’s agreement in which everybody agrees to abide to rules on a voluntary basis.

We have started an outreach to the other interested parties using the site.

Who are the interested parties?

Anybody that uses the surface, shoreline and sea bottom at Cirkewwa. Divers, Anglers, Fishermen, boat users, dive boats. There are also parties that have an indirect interest in the area, like NGOs, hotels and restaurants, both of which offer services to the diving tourists, local councils.

What are we asking?

We are hoping to have talks with representatives of the various groups and clubs in order to come up with tailor made educative CODES OF PRACTICES, e.g. catch and release, daily quantity limits, releasing females of species, sizes and sesonal limits, general observation of the laws already in place and a system allowing users to report infringements, like the laying of paritii withing the 200M demarcation line, spearfishing with aqualungs, appnea spearfishing.

Other suggestion would be using non entanglement lines and sinkers to be used.

In order to educate users, we will be placing educative placards which are being sponsored by Maltaqua Diving Centre.

We are also looking for sponsorship to print some 5000 educative A4 4×4 full color gloss coated pamphlets. We need around Euros 360 excluding 18% VAT. So if you know anybody that may be interested please let me know at tonio_divemalta@yahoo.com I am not sure but there may be some tax benefits for companies in this.

The placards and pamphlets will be educating divers, amongst other things, about the many protected species that are at Cirkewwa and that may need a few seconds thoughts to protect from careless and unintentional damage.

Declaring Cirkewwa a VOLUNTARY MARINE RESERVE is no small manner for if this works then we would have proved that a grass root movement can go farther and maybe be more affective than government enforcement as it is something voluntary and not laws that are FORCED on us without consideration to our individual needs

However none of this is possible unless we all, collectively do our share unselfishly. As divers, maybe more than others, and as much as fishermen, we have an interest in promoting and protecting Cirkewwa, so before swimming below an overhang, think of the damage our bubbles can do. Before picking up a souvenir or put a rock in our BCD to help with our buoyancy, think of what life we may be destroying. Before breaking a sea urchin think… and before doing so remember that the sea urchin is also protected and that you may be breaking the law.

Finally I would love to meet and discuss with the various group representatives, on how we can collectively cooperate as well as participate in the mangement of the site by being on the committee we are in the process of setting up.

I can be contacted on tonio_divemalta@yahoo.com  or on my mobile 99602455.
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baghira
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 08:45:46 CET »

Antonio can you please help us out in identifying from where did you have the info. re sea urchin being protected.
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