Wednesday 06 December 2023

A Yacht Marina in Marsaskala will threaten the livelihood of fishermen

 A community of full-time fishermen operating from Marsaskala have serious concerns about the new plans for a yacht marina in the locality. According to Transport Malta’s published plans in the call for investments, Marsaskala Bay will be submerged in jetties for about 700 yachts. Extensive parts of the sea in different parts of the area will also be overtaken by land reclamation. This will spell the end of the bay’s current fishing activities.
Fishermen currently use Marsaskala Bay to prepare for their fishing trips. They use the bay to load and unload the limestone slabs used in fishing for lampuki and for soaking the palm fronds in water to prevent them from drying up. The bay is also used for the cleaning and repair of trammel nets and it is also where long lines for swordfish are opened and checked for knots. Yacht marina jetties, pleasure boats and other related activity will dominate this space making it impossible for fishermen to work from.
A yacht marina also means that fishermen will not be able to tie their boats to the shore but will need to start using jetties. This means exceeding difficulty in loading bait, diesel and ice and unloading the catch from boats. Swordfish catches are impossible to unload from jetties either because this requires the use of cranes. Many fishermen also have permits to sell catch directly from their boats which they will no longer be able to do from a yacht marina and their fishing boats tied to jetties.
Beyond all this, there is serious concern that fishermen will not be able to hold on to their place in the bay once it becomes a yacht marina.
So a yacht marina isn’t simply an inconvenience but a threat to the livelihood of the fishermen of Marsaskala.
The community of full-time fishermen’s concerns continue to add to the widespread protests against the yacht marina from firework and village feast associations, fishing enthusiasts and residents who enjoy this bay for swimming and social activities. A yacht marina and related activities in the heart of Marsaskala are bound to the destroy the cultural life of the village to make way for the wealthy and their yachts.
Maraskala’s fishing community joins other organisations and residents in calling for the withdrawal of Transport Malta’s plans and to insist that there should be no yacht marina in Marsaskala.

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