Listen: Divers fear end of clean seas

Diver and activist Mark Gatt said that many divers complained about the slime currently afflicting the surrounding sea water, with many fearing that clean seas around the island will end.

Newsbook.com.mt interviewed Gatt on the problem of the tuna slime. Gatt and his friends had set up a Facebook page known as Stop the Slime. In his comments, Gatt said that he just wished that St Paul’s Bay sea was clean.

Gatt, who’s a seasoned diver, explained that the slime is very difficult to remove and he would have to use a different shampoo after diving in areas afflicted with slime. 

Gatt said that other options were available for fish farms, if one wanted to do things correctly. He reiterated the fact that the environment stands to lose if the pens are doubled and the focus remained profit. He also said that with adequate monitoring and the pens placed further out at sea, the industry would not negatively impact the environment. Gatt lamented that the slime was not just restricted to the surface but reached to the sea bed.

According to studies, some 6.5 tonnes of fish oil end up in the sea on a daily basis while the operators give some 125 tonnes of feed to the tuna everyday.

The fish farm operators said that measures were taken in order to mitigate the amount of oil running off from the tuna pens. The problem with slime coming from tuna pens was documented extensively by bathers on their social media. The Environment and Resource Authority had invited the public to report such cases immediately.