PA grants temporary permit for Comino fish farm relocation

The Planning Authority has granted the Comino tuna fish farm a temporary two-year permit for its relocation

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Matthew Vella
15 June 2017, 5:43pm
The Planning Board approved planning permission for the temporary relocation of 6 tuna cages from the south Comino channel. The new site is approximately 5km offshore, outside Sikka l-Bajda.

The permit, which is valid for two years, to relocate to this site, is an interim solution until the Department of Fisheries sets up a second aquaculture zone in the north. Following this approved planning permission by the Planning Board, the existing operations of the tuna farm will move to this new site to come in line with the agreement the fish farm operator had made with the Planning Authority. This will include the removal of all structures and equipment including mooring blocks, chains and ropes from the Comino site. The Comino site is located within a proposed Marine Conservation Area.

It is calculated that the 6 tuna cages will reach a quota of 1,500 tonnes of fish.

Last September, the Planning Board unanimously revoked 10 fish farm development permits after it was found that they had been operating in breach of planning conditions. As a result, last summer the coastal bathing water, which is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, was negatively impacted.

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Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.