Find Fisheries expertise in Malta

Malta’s central Mediterranean location places it on the migration paths of the three migratory fish species which contribute to the majority of catches sustaining the fishing sector. Despite this, the Maltese fishing industry makes a small impact on Malta’s economy – it contributes about 0.1% of the national GDP. The main fish species exported are aquaculture products (account for 89% of total exports); tuna and to a lesser extent Swordfish. The main export markets are Italy and Spain for Swordfish, Sea Bream and Sea Bass, and Japan, USA and South Korea for Tuna.

The proportion of the working population dependant, to varying extents, on this industry for its livelihood, is around 1%. The fisheries industry provides direct employment to around 1400 people in the primary and secondary sectors including aquaculture. There were about 905 males and 38 females officially registered as fishers in 2006.

Since the late 1980s, the aquaculture industry has started to grow, to the extent that 85% of output from fishing in Malta is now from fish farming (2006). The industry produced almost 1,300 tons of fish in 2006, which dropped to only 800 tons in 2007. However, by 2009 production had almost returned to its 2006 levels, with 1,200 tons produced. This was composed mainly of sea bream and sea bass and was produced through the operation of four commercial farms. Maltese aquaculture produce is almost entirely exported to European and Asian markets.

The main fishing port of Malta is Marsaxlokk Harbour, where a catch profile of dorado, bluefin tuna, dogfish, shrimp, and swordfish is landed. Other species such as shrimps, stone bass and large Scorpion fish, though only accounting for 6.4% of the total catch volume account for approximately 15% of the wholesale value. Maltese capture fisheries are mainly of a typical Mediterranean artisanal type and are not generally species selective. They are frequently described as multi-species and multi-gear fisheries, with fishers switching from one gear to another several times throughout the year. There are no inland fisheries in Malta.

These comprise both part-time as well as full-time fishers. In accordance with the EU’s strategic guidelines, the fisheries policy in Malta must promote measures that comply with the EU and CFP environmental guidelines and contribute to the development of areas dependent on fishing, and help them meet important objectives such as achieving a sustainable fishing effort.

Fisheries organisations in Malta
Azzopardi Fisheries