Regarding the negatively impacted areas across the south of Malta where material spread along the coast, the Ministry of Environment confirms that same material is in the vast majority attributed to the tuna industry. This was concluded after the Department of Fisheries and Environmental Resources Authority had made the necessary investigations as well as checks on the existing tuna cages.
The findings of the investigation clearly show that the various conditions of the permit were not being respected by the fish farm operators and therefore Minister José Herrera has instructed ERA and the Department of Fisheries to take the necessary steps and effective measures afforded within all parameters of the law and in accordance with the degree of violation of the same conditions, against those operators who failed to meet their obligations in this context. Where it was identified that the fish farm operators have not taken action to mitigate the release of oil and other related material, the same operators were banned from feeding their fish, unless the necessary measures to comply with the permit conditions were implemented.
Minister Herrera reiterated that while he positively noted that an agreement was reached yesterday between a number of operators, the conditions attached to the permit should be respected in their entirety and it is not tolerable in any way for any condition not to be adhered to.