Fishermen operating in Marsaskala Bay have written to Transport Minister Ian Borg calling on plans yacht marina in the area to be scrapped.
In a statement, Moviment Graffitti revealed that 38 fishermen told Borg that the plans will threaten their livelihoods, seeing spaces that are essential for their activities taken up by pontoons, yachts, and other facilities for the marina.
“Marsaskala Bay is not simply the place where they tie their boats, but also the space where they make all the preparations related to their fishing trips. It is the place where they load their boats and where they unload and sell their catch,” Graffitti said in a statement.
In August, Transport Malta issued a request for proposals for a roughly 800-berth marina which has elicited outrage from residents. In addition to being used for swimming by residents, the bay is also the heart of the locality and is regularly frequented by residents of Marsaskala and surrounding areas.
Moviment Grafitti claims that the marina will destroy 16,000 square metres of the seabed – the equivalent of two and a half football grounds – due to land reclamation.
The fishing community’s opposition to the project follows that of several civil society and resident groups, which all maintain that the bay should remain the people’s and not be given away to private interests.
Rather than draw up plans following public consultation and an environmental impact assessment, and then having interested parties bid to implement the project as normally happens, this time round Transport Malta has opted to first choose a bidder and then carry out the remainder of the process once the eventual concessionaire is selected.
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