Tuna penning farm

Date : 2001

Tuna farming improves the bluefin tuna quality and controls catch rates. Farming allows the feeding of tuna and increases fat content, which directly affects the market value. Farming also allows the control of time, quality and quantity of fresh tuna sold to the market.

The cage site was proposed to be situated in the South of Malta, about 600 metres from Fort Beng─žajsa and 1,000 metres southwest off Beng─žajsa Reef. The land-based facility which such a project requires was two-fold: a facility to manage the assembly of cages and a facility for processing the harvest. The assembly site should be in the port area bordering the sea, and large enough to accommodate at least one assembled cage; whose assembly was expected to last approximately two weeks. The Malta Development Corporation had identified a site lying within Hal Far Industrial Estate to act as the tuna processing factory.

Dumping of fly ash over the coastal cliffs at Benghajsa

During early summer, a suitable school of tuna fish is selected. Once at the penning site, the fish are passed into the large penning cages; the towing cage will be moored as an overflow-penning cage. The food used for the fattening will be mainly anchovy, mackerel species, pilchards, sardines and squid. After approximately 24 weeks of penning, once the wild-caught supplies have diminished, the harvest period will commence in November. The export quantities will increase steadily to the desired full production after an initial lag phase. All fish are exported by air and sold as a fresh fish product. The normal production cycle is of a maximum of 10 months, and thus the cage site will be fallow between the months of March and June during which time the cages and moorings will be serviced.

Bird trapping sites predominate Benghajsa study area.

The following baseline surveys were undertaken with respect to the terrestrial (coastal) environment: geology and geomorphology, agriculture and ecology. With respect to the marine environment, the following physical characteristics were studied: bathymetry, sediment quality, wind and wave patterns and prevailing sea currents. Major marine benthic habitats and communities, underwater geomorphology and water quality were also mapped and analysed.

Click here to download the Environmental Impact Statement.