How YOU Can Help Stop Malta's Sea-Slime
It always seems like it's someone else's problem... but it's not.
Photo: Nature Trust
If you've been on the internet at all over the past couple of weeks, you'll have seen the (rather disgusting) images of the infamous sea-slime floating off the fish farms and heading for the Maltese coast.
Legal action is finally being taken, and the farm operators have till Monday to propose a system to address the illegalities. But if history is anything to go by, this won't be enough, and it's time for us to do our part... but what can we do?
Changes you can make right now:
1. Befriend your local fishmonger
When you're buying today's catch for dinner, have a little chat with your fishmonger. A good seller will know exactly where the fish came from, and can help you pick out the catches that came from individual or small-scale fishermen, as opposed to the large scale farms.
This promotes a more sustainable method of catching, and also gives a push to small local businesses.
2. Make your voice heard with the authorities responsible
You can tweet at the MTA to do more to protect our beaches, or phone/write a letter to the Ministry for the Environment and let them know this is an issue you still care about. Sharing this post and others on social media can also be productive (as long as other, more concrete, action is tied in too).
3. Keep our seas clean
It's not gonna stop the slime coming from the fish farms, but we've all seen the zliega created by our litter. Do your bit in preventing a bad situation getting worse, and bin/recycle your waste properly.
Changes you can make over time:
1. Swap which fish you eat
Fish4tomorrow, a local NGO that works towards more sustainable consuming patterns, have an extremely useful and easy-to-use guide that explains which fish are to be avoided if we want to do our part in saving our seas.
2. Educate yourself on the issue
Not all fish farm operations are inherently bad. The issues arise when fish are over-fed and the runoff settles on the seabed or (as we're seeing now) finds its ways to our shores. Ranting about the horrible slime without knowing the causes won't help us solve anything - and the information is out there.
3. Get into the habit of asking where the fish is from, even at restaurants
There is EU legislation that states all fish sold has to have an accompanying label which gives information on the fish itself, where it was caught and whether or not it was farmed. Unfortunately this legislation is not always enforced, but if more of us started asking, more effort will be made in ensuring that it's carried out.
Thanks again fish4tomorrow for helping us understand the situation better.