Tuna operators announce ‘self-regulatory’ agreement for harvesting period

Five tuna operators have entered into an agreement that will see a number of measures introduced between August and the end of the harvest period

The federation said that the thawing of tuna feed should be done in landbase facilities
The federation said that the thawing of tuna feed should be done in landbase facilities

Five of Malta’s tuna operators have entered into an agreement that will see them introduce a number of measured aimed at “improving the sustainability of the industry” during the months when the fish is harvested.

The terms of the new agreement will come into force this month and will remain in place until the end of the harvest period, the Maltese Federation of Aquaculture Producers said in a statement.

The agreement will see vessels used for the cleaning of cages and the surveillance of the coast, required to be of a certain size and equipped with tools such as tanks for the collection of oil, skimmers, pumps and other material needed to collect traces of oil.

The operators also agreed to carry out “regular monitoring” by “independent experts” who will report back to the federation.

“The agreement also requires any form of thawing to take place at land facilities that the operators have and use,” the statement read.

Together, the five operators comprise 75% of the tuna sector, the federation said. The only operator that is not part of the federation is the Fuentes-owned Mare Blue Tuna Farm Ltd.

"This new agreement builds upon the previous year's successes such as when we suggested that every tuna cage needs to be equipped with booms as well as the need to collect oil from the cages," MFAP said

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