The Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change and the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights has set up an Oversight Implementation and Review Committee (OIRC) for the purposes of ensuring full transparency and adequate governance of the procedures and control mechanisms that are being put in place across the aquaculture sector.

The committee shall (i) review the findings of the audits carried out by various entities in the past two years in relation to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department operations and outline the recommendations listed therein; (ii) review, reconfirm or modify the action plans that have been prepared for the purposes of implementing recommendations in the said reports and identify any gaps; (iii) develop, together with FAD management, actions plans for any gaps that are identified; (iv) assess the need for the financial, human and other material resources to ensure the proper and effective implementation of all recommendations giving priority to aquaculture related control operations; (v) review pending cases of control infringements and recommend any further actions as necessary; (vi) ensure that practices and procedures are up to date and in compliance with regulatory requirements and best practices, and; (vii) carry out due oversight to ensure that the agreed action plans and recommendations are fully and properly implemented within a timely manner.

To date, the department has already drawn up action plans to implement recommendations set out in a number of audits carried out in recent years in order to start implementing the necessary measures with immediate effect to deter abuse. Mr Neill Kerr has been appointed as chairperson of this committee.

The ministry is actively looking into the broader elements of the department’s current structure and its control operations in order to identify how best these should be reformed to better address today’s challenges and requirements including the sustainability of the sector.

Source: Government of Malta