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Interview: How collaboration between fishers and scientists helps Malta's fishing sector

In partnership with The European Commission
Interview: How collaboration between fishers and scientists helps Malta's fishing sector
Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Bryan CarterEuronews
Published on
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Luca Pisani, a marine biologist at Aquatic Resources Malta, emphasises the importance of maintaining a strong working relationship with fishermen who welcome scientists like him aboard their ships.

Luca Pisani, a marine biologist at Aquatic Resources Malta, emphasises the importance of maintaining a strong working relationship with fishers who welcome scientists like him aboard their ships.

This collaboration bridges the gap between fishers and policymakers, ensuring decisions are based on accurate data about the health of the ocean according to Luca, a member of a three-man research crew at Aquatic Resources Malta, linked to the Maltese Public Department.

"Since we work with the government, fishermen can tend to be a little bit skeptical or timid when working with us because they worry that we will end up implementing policies or regulations, or the government would end up implementing policies or regulations, that might adversely affect their interests," he says.

But in fact, what is caught is what Luca says concerns him and his team.

"At least us as the biological team, we do not provide any information on any forms of illegalities or control or anything to do with the control sector" explains Luca.

"And it is in everyone's interest, especially in ours, to make sure that we know exactly what is being caught so that we can get the proper image of the situation in the sea".

Only by truly understanding what is happening at sea can data be channeled properly to inform understanding and decision-making according to the marine biologist.

"It is very important that we have a good working relationship with fishermen and, at the end of the day, their interests are our own interests"

According to Luca, If the sea isn’t doing well, "we want to know".

And that's because "if we can figure out and identify just where things seem to be struggling, then we can raise this with policymakers and decision-makers so that they are more equipped to take the proper course of action to try and protect the sea in the interest of the fishermen".

Luca Pisani is a Marine biologist at Aquatic Resources Malta.

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