Thirty-eight fishermen operating from the Marsascala Bay wrote a letter to the Minister responsible for Transport and Infrastructure, Ian Borg, calling for the Yacht Marina plans to be scrapped.
A statement by NGO Moviment Graffitti read: “In their letter, the fishermen explained how, according to the plans laid out in the call for investments issued by Transport Malta, spaces which are so essential for their fishing activities will be taken up by pontoons, yachts, land reclamation and facilities for the Yacht Marina.”
The fishermen insisted that Marsascala Bay is not simply the place where they tie their boats, but also the space where they make all the preparations related to their fishing trips.
“It is the place where they load their boats and where they unload and sell their catch. The Yacht Marina will take over the whole bay, transforming the types of activity that take place in and around it, with the consequence that the fishermen will end up being pushed away from it. Therefore, they insisted that no Yacht Marina should be considered for Marsascala.”
Since the plans of Transport Malta for Marsascala came out in the open, various groups and individuals expressed their complete opposition to a Yacht Marina in the locality.
“Among these, there was a group of fireworks enthusiasts who explained how Marsascala Bay serves as the ‘village square’, and therefore most of the feast activities are linked to the bay and its surroundings. These groups are very concerned that substantial parts of the feast would not be able to continue being organised once the bay and the shore will become engulfed by the 700 yachts mentioned in the Transport Malta call. Apart from these groups, hundreds of Marsascala residents and individuals who hold the village close to their heart, expressed their anger at the plan which will be destroying the core of the locality as well as the social, cultural and recreational activities associated with it,” the NGO said.
The Yacht Marina project also led to serious concerns about the environmental impact that it will have on the village.
“Land reclamation and the disturbances caused by the yachts will have an extensive impact on the natural marine environment which requires so much protection. According to Transport Malta’s proposal, the Yacht Marina will destroy 16,000 square metres of seabed – the equivalent of two and a half football grounds – due to land reclamation. The Yacht Marina will inevitably also have a huge impact on the Natura 2000 site of il-Magħluq, since its ecosystem is intrinsically linked to that of the bay.”