January 6, 2022

Client: Environment & Resources Authority (ERA)

PROJECT BACKGROUND

This marine monitoring project has been ongoing for over 2.5years. The monitoring included the development of a database system to house all Maltese marine data. This is by far the largest marine monitoring project undertaken locally, reaching beyond the 25 nautical-mile boundary and covering a sea area of 6,700km2 - more that 21 times the land size of Malta & Gozo.

REQUEST

The Environment & Resources Authority (ERA) required AIS to carry out one of the largest marine monitoring project to date. The monitoring is done in line with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)

Analytics and research

Collection of water/sediment samples and SCUBA diving surveys

OUR INPUT

AIS collected over 5,000 samples of water, seafloor sediment, fish and algae. Together with the underwater filming of over 400 km of seabed, this data now forms part of a knowledge database that will be used by anyone working in the maritime industry for many years to come. 

The list of studies done:

  • Contaminants in water and sediment
  • Contaminants in Posidonia oceanica
  • Contaminants in seafood
  • Physicochemical characteristics in water and sediment
  • Water currents
  • Nutrients in water
  • Phytoplankton and zooplankton
  • Macroalgae around the Maltese coastline
  • Posidonia oceanica mapping
  • Benthic macroinvertebrates
  • Alien (non-indigenous) species
  • Marine litter in water and on beaches

 

Results

The results of the project were used by the Maltese Authorities to report the environmental status of our marine waters to the European Union. The results were also used to identify pollution sources and problem areas which need to be tackled to improve the health of our marine environment. All the work is documented in two (massive) reports which were used for Malta's assessment of the status of Maltese waters in line with the MSFD.