About Malta



Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)

Geographic Coordinates:

35 50 N, 14 35 E

Maritime claims:   

territorial sea: 12 nm 
contiguous zone: 24 nm 
continental shelf: 200-m depth/exploration 
exclusive fishing zone: 25 nm


Catch Profile

Over 65 percent of annual landings (about 1 000 t) originates from the tuna and dolphin fish fisheries, which contribute about 56 percent in value terms (about US$ 6 million). Trawling, bottom long-lining and swordfish longlining have similar importance in terms of both weight (7–10 percent of annual landings each) and value (11–15 percent of annual value each). Trammel nets and other artisanal demersal gears account for about three percent of annual landings, whilst minor pelagic gears account for about four percent of the annual landings.

Landing Sites

The main fishing port in Malta is Marsaxlokk Harbour, in the southeast of the island. About 40 percent of the vessels registered in Malta operate from the fishing villages of Marsaxlokk and the neighbouring Birzebbugia, which lie either side of harbour, separated by the promontory on which lies the historic Fort San Lucjan, which now houses the Malta Centre for Fisheries Sciences (MCFS).

The most important fishing port on the island of Gozo is Mgarr Harbour, where over 70 percent of the island’s fleet berth. This port is also the second largest in terms of number of fishing boats for the whole of the Maltese Islands. The other main ports are distributed around Malta. In order of importance they are: St. Paul’s Bay in the north; Marsascala and Msida on the east coast; and the landing place of Gnejna, located conveniently amidst the cliffs of the western coast, caters for the fishers from Mgarr (Malta) and Rabat.


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