Malta, moratorium of two years on the collection of sea urchins
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta, moratorium of two years on the collection of sea urchins A moratorium has been implemented for a duration of two years on the collection of sea urchins. The collection of sea urchins has been declared illegal by the Maltese government, with immediate effect and individuals found in violation of this regulation will face penalties. However, restaurants and fish importers will be required to maintain the necessary documentation to verify the origin of their catches in case of inspections.
The Maltese government confirmed that a legal notice was introduced after a study conducted by the Environment and Resources Authority revealed that sea urchins in Maltese waters are currently facing the risk of extinction. The government said, “this is part of the authorities’ intensified efforts to restore the population of this endangered species.” Sea urchins play a vital role in maintaining the marine ecosystem by ensuring the survival of 18 different fish species and controlling the spread of invasive alien species.
The Department of Aquaculture has initiated a restocking programme, which involves the cultivation of sea urchins and their subsequent release into the sea. Sea urchins will be collected from the ocean to undergo laboratory processes that will ensure their optimal reproductive health. Their growth will be closely monitored, and comprehensive studies will be conducted on their nutrition and DNA.
The government added: “the authorities are optimistic that within the next two years, there will be a sustainable population of sea urchins in Maltese waters”.
– photo Doi –