Client: Environment & Resources Authority (ERA)
This marine monitoring project, lasting over 30 months, was by far the largest marine monitoring project undertaken locally. The monitoring surveys reached beyond the 25 nautical-mile boundary of the Maltese Exclusive Fishing Zone (EFZ) and covered a sea area of 6,700km2 - over 21 times the land size of the Maltese Islands!
In partnership with our partners AZTI, we carried out monthly marine monitoring surveys all over the Maltese Islands. The consortium also developed a database system to house all Maltese marine monitoring data.
Collection of water/sediment samples and SCUBA diving surveys
AIS collected over 5,000 samples of water, seafloor sediment, fish and algae over a two-year period. 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 field surveys included:
Contaminants in water and sediment
Contaminants in Posidonia oceanica
Contaminants in seafood
Physicochemical characteristics in water and sediment
Measurement of water currents
Nutrients in water
Phytoplankton and zooplankton
Mapping of algae around the Maltese coastline
Mapping of Posidonia oceanica around the Maltese coastline
Mapping of the maerl bed off the NE coast of Malta
Alien (non-indigenous) species
Marine litter in water and on beaches
The results from this exercise (EMFF 8.3.1) were used by ERA to report the health (environmental status) of Maltese coastal waters to the European Commission. 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 a report which were used for Malta's assessment of the status of Maltese waters in line with the MSFD.