Fabian Demicoli

GRTU meets Director General Fisheries


GRTU official
Joe Attard has earlier this week met Dr. Andreina Fenech Farrugia, Director
General of Fisheries at Ghammieri. Over the last weeks a number of pleasure
boat operators in Gozo complained that they do not have a docking facility for
their use.

In Malta there are currently two private facilities that are very
expensive and another facility in Marsaxlokk which is however made available
only for the use of fisherman and on the other hand pleasure boats are not
allowed to make use of it. As such, the nearest facility they can make use of
and that is more reasonably priced is in Sicily.

The
Fisheries DG pointed out that the issue has already been brought to her
attention from individuals and the Directorate has as such already requested
guidelines from both State Aid Directorate and the Competition watchdog MCCAA.

She
explained that the first hurdle is the legal issue and once that is overcome
the logistical problems will be taken on board. She was sceptical due to state
aid issues or competition law issues. She mentioned that private docking
operators have already written directly to the Commission over the matter.

GRTU
noted that it is aware that these operators face an uphill struggle although
they also contribute to the economy. GRTU further commented on the fact that
although the Mgarr harbour project was affected there were no plan for a
docking facility for Gozitans.

GRTU
Gozo representative Joanna Mifsud who was also present for the meeting outlined
how these operators have been complaining year in year out, but a solution was
never found. She mentioned the fact that wonders seem to be available to
fishermen only, whilst for the pleasure boat industry there seemed to be only
problems without solutions.

Ms.
Andreina Fenech Farrugia advised that feedback regarding the issue will be
forwarded to GRTU by the second week of October. The fisheries facility manager
and the legal advisor were also present for this short cordial meeting. 

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