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Malta: We must protect jobs: including fishermen September 12,2019   |  Source: Malta Today

Claims by Maltese lampuki fishermen that their catches plundered by Tunisian counterparts, in what is a veritable war on the high seas, constitute a serious national security concern. Apart from effectively stealing local fishers’ catch, local fishers also report that Tunisians were using strong-arm tactics to stop the Maltese from accessing their equipment.

Some have even been threatened with machetes and Molotov cocktails. They have also documented the presence of a 65-foot Tunisian vessel – nicknamed Bin Laden, on account of an image of the notorious Saudi terrorist, and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, on its hull – which threatens to ram Maltese boats as they approach to claim their catch. Arthur Micallef, a lampuki fisher, also believes the Tunisians fishers were using larger nets to circle the fish, which increases their yield.

“To put you into perspective, with our nets we fill a crate, with their nets they fill 10. They not only steal fish which should be ours, but proceed to destroy our gear which we spend months working on,” Micallef said. This situation has been ongoing for around 10 years; but it has now become a daily occurrence, especially for Gozitan fishers, who fish at a more northerly angle.

Yet it is not an easy situation to resolve.

Theme(s): Others, Post Harvest Technology and Trade, Landing Centres, Communities and Organisations, Coastal Ecosystems and Threats, Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods, Fisheries Resources, Freshwater ecosystems and threats, Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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