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EC Awaits Answers on Non-existent Tuna Farms

MALTA - It has been alleged that Malta's Fisheries Ministry has made false declarations on non-existent tuna farms.

The European Commission is expecting the Maltese authorities to respond to a series of allegations on the island's lucrative tuna industry including through a letter sent by Alternattiva Demokratika to Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg.

A spokesman for Dr Borg told The Times yesterday that the Commission is looking into the allegations and is awaiting an official reply from the Maltese Fisheries Ministry following a letter sent at the beginning of last month, writes Ivan Camilleri for the Times of Malta.

"The Commission had already sent a letter to the Maltese authorities on August 1 requesting clarifications as a result of certain allegations concerning irregularities in the Maltese tuna fishery. To date, no reply has been forthcoming," the spokesman told the news agency.

"The Commission will be reminding the Maltese authorities on the need to provide the requested information as well as information on the current allegations."

Last week, AD took up the issue and officially called upon the European Commission to investigate the claims. It has been alleged among other things that the Fisheries Ministry made false declarations to the Commission about two non-existent tuna farms and on the capacity of individual tuna farms.