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   Home ―›  Country Fishery Information ―›  Malta








GENERAL STATISTICS pdf format Clic here to download acrobat reader
Area (kmq) 320
geographic coordinates 35 54N, 14 31E
coastline (km) 140
population (millions 2005 est.)* 0.4
annual population growth rate (1975-2005)* 0.9%
gross domestic product (GDP per capita annual growth rate) (1990-2005)* 2.7%
(on a period shorter than that specified)
education index, 2005*  0.856
human development index (HDI) value, 2005* 0.878
urban population (as % of total) 2005* 95.3
infant mortality rate (per 1.000 live births) 2005* 5
internet users (per 1.000 people) 2005** 320
personal computers (per 1.000 people) 2005 est.** n.a.
agriculture, value added (% of GDP) 2005 est.** n.a.
industry, value added (% of GDP) 2002 est.** n.a.
services, etc., value added (% of GDP)2005 est.** n.a.

The Republic of Malta’s territory comprises an archipelago of seven islands for a total land of 320 Km2, only the three largest islands are inhabited by about 400 000 people. The country is located in the Mediterranean Sea, off the south coast of Sicily (Italy), the East coast of Tunisia and the North coast of Lybia. The length of continental coastline is 140 km. Malta lies in the FAO-GFCM Geographical Sub Area 15.
Maltese fishery is mainly artisanal, with a large number of multi-gear vessels, while the industrial fisheries is not so significant. The earnings for fishermen depend on the high quality of fish products, which are very appreciated by the tourists. Fishing effort is, in fact not homogenious over the year: during the winter the reduction observed is about 75 percent.
About 60 percent of catches are pelagic fishes (tunas, dolphin fish, swordfish), caught with drifting long lines, and trolling lines. One of the most important fisheries in Malta is for the dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus. This species is targeted by means of a special type of surrounding net similar to a purs seine, however the net is not closed at the bottom. A trolling line is also used to catch fish around Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs). When a fish is caught this is lured around the FADs and any schools of dolphinfish around the FAD follow the fish caught by the trolling line. After this the FAD together with the school of fish is encircled by the net. Studies have shown that this target catch is mainly composed of Dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), juvenile amberjack (Seriola dumerili), pilot fish (Naucrates ductor) and juvenile Wreck fish (Polyprion americanus). However during the fishing activity fishermen also use considerably the trolling line either to catch fish to be eventually surrounded by the net or to catch Dolphinfish when moving from one FAD to another.
Aquaculture in Malta is primarily marine-based, taking place in floating cages. It consists on the fattening of wild-caught bluefin tuna (exported mainly to Japan), as well as the culture of European seabass and gilthead seabream (exported to Europe, mainly Italy).
The fleet is mainly composed by traditional small artisanal vessels, less than 10 m LOA. The oldest are almost wholly wooden, while the more recent multi-purpose ones are fiberglass made.

Malta domestic fisheries product in 2006 was approximately 3 537 tonnes, 2 411 of which from capture fisheries and 1 126 from aquaculture.
Fishery imports in the period May 2004-2005 totalled an annual average of about 26 800 tonnes, while fish exports stood at 2 207 tonnes.
Fishery imports in 2006 totalled about 32 109 (1 000 USD) while exports was 64 421 (1 000 USD) with a net balance of 32 312 (1 000 USD). In 2003-2005, average per capita supply was 31.2 kg/year. (FAO, 2008).

total fisheries production (t) 2006*** 3537
capture production (t) 2006*** 2411
aquaculture production (t) 2006*** 1126
per caput fish supply (kg/year, 2003-2005)*** 31.2
production (tonnes in live weight) 2003-2005*** 2064
non-food uses (tonnes in live weight) 2003-2005*** 14185
imports (tonnes in live weight) 2003-2005*** 26800
exports (tonnes in live weight) 2003-2005*** 2207
food supply (tonnes in live weight) 2003-2005*** 12472
imports (US$ 1.000) 2006*** 32109
exports (US$ 1.000) 2006*** 64421
net balance 2006*** 32312
fishery exports as a percentage of agricultural exports (%) 2003*** n.a.
fishery exports as a percentage of total merchandise exports (%) 2006*** 2.3
· *UNDP. Human Development Report
· **The World Bank
· ***FAO Yearbook of Fishery Statistics - 2003



FAO Country Profiles and Mapping Information Systems of:

- Italia - Libia · FAO Fisheries Country Profile · FAO FISHSTAT Plus
- Malta - Tunisia · DG Fisheries and Maritime Affairs · FAO Yearbooks of Fishery Statistics


· FAO-. 2008. Fisheries and Aquaculture Information and Statistics Service. Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics 2006. 57p.
· FAO. © 2006-2009. National Aquaculture Sector Overview. Aperçu général du secteur national d'aquaculture - France. National Aquaculture Sector Overview Fact Sheets. Texte par Lacroix, D.
In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [en ligne]. Rome. Mis à jour 25 July 2005. [Cited 11 June 2009].

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