Maltese fishing enthusiasts will be given the opportunity to catch their own Lampuki this autumn, as part of a pilot project launched by the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry.
The ministry will be allocating a number of floats – used to catch Lampuki when they are in season – to amateur fishing associations for use by fishing enthusiasts.
Lampuki is a type of fish and something of a delicacy in Malta. Also known as the dorado or dolphinfish, it migrates through Maltese waters between August and December.
The fish is caught using floats made using the fronds of palm trees which are woven into large floating rafts. Lampuki congregate under the floats to seek shade from the hot summer sun before eventually being caught by fishermen.
The initiative is the result of a “broad consultation” with the fishing sector’s stakeholders and after a meeting involving all fishing associations which discussed proposals put forward, the ministry said in a statement earlier today.
An agreement was reached for amateur fishermen to be granted the right to use floats and lines allocated by the ministry.
Fishing floats positions are allocated each year by lot under conditions laid down by the director of the Fisheries Department. It is illegal for anyone to set up a Lampuki float without a license.
The Lampuki season starts on 15th August and runs till the end of December.
Fisheries Minister Anton Refalo noted that in the past, amateur fishermen were able to fish for Lampuki but this was eventually stopped.
“The Fisheries Department is aware of the enthusiasm and the desire on the part of amateur fishermen for them to have the opportunity to fish for Lampuki,” Refalo said.
It was for this reason, he said, that a consultation process was initiated on the pilot project.
Amateur fishermen will be able to use two floats in the east of the island and one in the west. Sites within three nautical miles of the Maltese coast will also be identified for fishing vessels that are unable to venture too far out.
All floats will need to be marked with the number of the associated amateur fishing vessel.
Associations or individuals who would like to apply for permission to fish for Lampuki will need to do so by applying on the Fisheries Department’s FishApp, while all catches will also need to be reported to the department.
The selling of Lampuki caught by amateur fishermen will not be allowed and all floats must be retrieved from the sea once the season closes.
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