9 May 2014

Musing on maritime Malta

The opening of the first marine environmental education
centre in Dwejra, Gozo, was a red-letter day for ocean literacy
in the Maltese Islands.
Times of Malta 04/05/2014: European Maritime Day (May 21), which was celebrated in Malta last year, is the perfect red letter day to reflect on the oft-overlooked marine and maritime legacy of the Maltese archipelago.

In an island state like ours, whose territorial waters are almost 14 times bigger than the islands’ miniscule area, and whose coastline is almost 300 kilometres long, one would take it as a given that Malta fosters a maritime vocation. And yet one gets the impression that, bar for a small intrepid fishing community, the Maltese have always been introduced to, and taken out to sea by their colonisers, with the Phoenicians, the Knights of St John and the British being the most prominent in sharing their naval prowess with the native Maltese.

Since Joe Borg’s term as EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the European Commission has sought a more comprehensive and sustainable exploitation of European seas, and with sound reason too. The numbers are very compelling. Out of the 28 EU states, 23 have a coastline, 41 per cent of the EU population, or 206 million citizens, live in coastal areas, and marine and coastal activities in the EU account for...read on.