Thousands of euros’ worth in illegal fish seized from Żabbar industrial estate

Fish seized from Ta’ Maggi industrial estate lacked traceability and included false statements, and was stored in a roomnot in line with legal standards

The fisheries secretariat said the fish was estimated to be worth thousands on the market
The fisheries secretariat said the fish was estimated to be worth thousands on the market

A substantial amount of fish, including tuna, have been confiscated by local authorities from the Ta’ Maġġi industrial estate in Żabbar.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, the parliamentary secretariat for fisheries said that “substantial numbers of fish and tuna were confiscated” from the industrial zone.

The fish, the value of which could reach “up to thousands of Euro on the market” the department said, lacked traceability and included false statements, in addition to being stored in a room that is not in line with the necessary legal standards.

The secretariat said that the operation had been coordinated by the fisheries department, an executed by the Directorate for Veterinary Regulations and the Directorate for Environmental Health.

The secretariat said that the fish had been confiscated, with investigations expected to “continue in the coming days”.  

READ MORE: Fisheries reform underway after NAO found ineffective practices

Earlier this year, Malta’s tuna industry was thrust into the limelight after fisheries director Andreina Fenech Farrugia was suspended by Environment Minister Jose Herrera after leaked phone intercepts by Spanish investigative authorities showed how she had asked a major Spanish tuna operator - José Fuentes García - for payment to allow him to introduce more bluefin tuna in the market than was allowed.

Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri had pledged that a review of the department would be undertaken in order to address any shortcomings.

Two separate magisterial inquiries are currently investigating irregularities within the industry.   

READ MORE: Malta fisheries 'boss' used Spanish mobile number supplied by tuna impresario for confidential calls

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