Medfish Magazine

Mediterranean Fishing Online Magazine

Spearfishing license: Before the actual purchase of the gun, one obtains license number from Police General Headquarters weapons Offices after a short interview with an officer. One is asked to fill in a form with personal details and speargun specifications.
– For the purchase of any arm which requires a licence and to keep such an arm during the year of its purchase. (reg.1_Police Licences Regulations, CAP. 128) EUR 16.31.
– To keep a speargun during any year following the year of purchase there of, per annum. (reg.6_Police Licences Regulations, CAP. 128) EUR 6.99
– To carry a speargun per annum (reg.7_Police Licences Regulations, CAP. 128) EUR 3.49

Restrictions: Regulation (EC No 1967/2006) which is administered by the Veterinary Affairs and Fisheries Division:

Spear-guns shall be prohibited if used in conjunction with underwater breathing apparatus (aqualung) or at night from sunset to dawn. (reg.4_Art.8_EC No 1967/2006).

Restricted areas:

Fishing is strictly prohibited in the proximity of the sewage outfall at Wied Ghammieq within the area demarcated on the land side by two stone pillars painted red situated on the sides of the drainage outlet, one on Xghajra shore in the vicinity of Ras il-gebel and the other under the Ricasoli Bastion and on the sea side by two range buoys. It is also prohibited to collect by any means from the same area any edible marine products. (reg.11_S.L.10.12 Fishery Regulations).

No fishing is permitted in the Dockyard Creek or in the French Creek, that is in those parts of the Grand Harbour to the south east of a line drawn from St.Angelo Point to Isola Point and hence to the northern end of Parlatorio Wharf and Corradino Hill without a special licence issued by the Director with the approval of the Prime Minister. (reg.12_S.L.10.12 Fishery Regulations).

No spearfishing is permitted in zones which are designated to be conservation zones by MEPA* and wherever artificial reefs are built for the purpose of scientific studies or as an attraction to tourist divers.

*Designated Marine Protected Areas: A marine site that has recently been selected and designated as a marine protected area and a Special Area of Conservation of International Importance is the marine area between Rdum Majjiesa and Ras ir-Raheb on the northwest coast of Malta. MEPA.ORG

The Veterinary Regulation and Fisheries Conservation and Control within the Veterinary and Fisheries Affairs Division (VAFD) has set a number of conservation areas around wrecks.

Spearfishing is prohibited in the following areas. Only surface fishing is allowed including trolling lines (rixa) and angling for pelagic fish.

Location: Wied iz-Zurrieq; Wreck: Um el Faroud
Location: Off Xatt l-Ahmar; Wreck: MV Xlendi, Cominoland, Karwela
Location: Marsascala; Wreck: Tug St.Michael, Tug 10
Location: Off Qawra point; Wreck: Imperial Eagle
Location: Off Cirkewwa; Wreck: Rozi, P29
Location: Off Xrobb l-Ghagin; Wreck: Blenheim bomber
Location: Off Exiles Point; Wreck: Bristol Beaufighter

Protected fish:

It shall not be lawful to sell or buy or be on land in possession of any fishes or cephalopods of a size less than is prescribed in regulation 38, with the exception of transparent goby (makku) and of whitebait (srajdna and nemusa), for which no size limit is prescribed. (reg. 37. S.L. 425.01 Fishery Regulations)

The minimum sizes of fishes, measured overall, shall be according to the following schedule:

Name:                                                                                                                                        Min Size
Voparella and Vopa (Box boops)                                                                                         90mm
Arznella and Munqara (Smaris vulgaris)                                                                               90mm
Trilja or Red Mullets (Mullus barbatus and Mullus sarmuletus) including Triljetta                       100mm
All other fishes except transparent goby (makku) & whitebait (srajdna & nemusa)                    115mm
Cuttlefish (sicca)*                                                                                                             75mm
Squid (klamari)*                                                                                                              100mm

*Cephalopods, measured from the anterior side of the eye to the posterior end of the body

A marine organism which is smaller than the minimum size specified shall not be caught, retained on board, transhipped, landed, transferred, stored, sold, displayed or offered for sale. (reg.4_Art.15_EC 1967/2006)

Scientific Name:Common name: Minimum size

Dicentrarchus labrax Sea-bass 25 cm
Diplodus annularis Annular sea-bream 12 cm
Diplodus puntazzo Sharpsnout sea-bream 18 cm
Diplodus sargus White sea-bream 23 cm
Diplodus vulgaris Two-banded sea-bream 18 cm
Engraulis encrasicolus * European anchovy 9 cm
Epinephelus spp. Groupers 45 cm
Lithognathus mormyrus Stripped sea-bream 20 cm
Merluccius merluccius *** Hake 20 cm
Mullus spp. Red mullets 11 cm
Pagellus acarne Spanish sea-bream 17 cm
Pagellus bogaraveo Red sea-bream 33 cm
Pagellus erythrinus Common pandora 15 cm
Pagrus pagrus Common sea-bream 18 cm
Polyprion americanus Wreckfish 45 cm
Sardina pilchardus** European sardine 11 cm
Scomber spp. Mackerel 18 cm
Solea vulgaris Common sole 20 cm
Sparus aurata Gilt-head sea-bream 20 cm
Trachurus spp. Horse mackerel, Scad 15 cm

Posted: 2008-09-09, this information is accurate as of date of publication.