Minister for Agriculture, Fishing and Animal Rights Anton Refalo announced a scheme aimed at aiding fishermen that suffered from the destructive February 2019 storm on Monday July 13.
This scheme was announced whilst the Minister was speaking with various fishermen, raising a point about the massive storm that the Maltese Islands suffered from on February 24 in 2019, with this storm causing a massive amount of damage.
Minister Refalo also stated that they are working together with the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change in order to determine the amount of damage caused and the amount of costs that fishermen have incurred due to the storm.
Speaking on the scheme, Minister Refalo stated that “around €1 million were allocated from the National Fund so that the Fishing and Aquaculture Department through a compensation scheme can provide aid to owners of ships that are registered MFA and MFB with the department that suffered damages due to the storm.”
The Minister also stated that the funds will be divided according to three categories.
The first category concerns damages that were done to the ship or boat and its engine.
The second category mainly concerns damages done to fishing nets, octopus traps, and other relatively small objects.
The final category is purely concerned with damages that were done to octopus traps, with these seemingly being the most affected by the storm.
Through this scheme, the applicants will be fully entitled to every cost that is eligible and required by VAT exclusion.
The Minister announced that one will receive the applications for this scheme in the coming days, as long as they are registered under the MFA or the MFB. The forms will also be available on the Ministry’s website as well as on its Facebook page.
Applications will start being accepted on July 20 and will go on till August 7, with the Minister also encouraging fishermen to apply only to receive compensation for the damages incurred, not for anything more.
Minister Refalo also stated that the “fishing sector in Malta is a priority as it guarantees a source of fresh food” to the Maltese Islands.