Dead fish washed ashore at St Thomas Bay [VIDEO]

Nature Trust Malta calls for action on trammel nets.

A video posted on YouTube showing dead fish washed ashore at St Thomas Bay has sparked concern over trammel nets.

The video shows dead fish both in the bay and on the beach at the Marsascala bay.

Nature Trust Malta said the incident probably related to dead by-catch, by presumably amateur fishermen using small in-bay nets such as 'pariti'.

"This is a shocking example of the degradation faced by Malta's marine ecology, to the detriment of local marine biodiversity and also of the diving and fishing industries," the environment NGO said in a statement.

As early as the nineties, the NGO has been calling for the use of trammel nets and the carrying out of other similar harmful activities to be banned altogether.  

"Yet to date one can still see such nets in our bays and harbours and, sadly, even in ecologically sensitive sites like the Dwejra Marine Protected Area (MPA)," it said.  

NTM had also taken care to specifically include in the Dwejra Action Plan the banning of such nets in Gozo.

"Nevertheless, notwithstanding the fact that this Action Plan had actually been approved in 2005 by the authorities, nets are still visible off the Dwejra shore making this issue a major, shameful failure in environmental enforcement, considering that Dwejra is also a prime location for diving tourism."

First I want to make myself clear that I fully agree that trammel nets should be banned and the authorities should be more serious in the enforcement of the regulations as they are on the hunting. However the large number of dead fish are probably not due to netting more likely to some pollutant or maybe the use of explosives...