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Other Projects

- Galatea
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- Poseidon

Poseidon - Marine conservation

Poseidon was the Greek deity who ruled over the Sea. He was brother to Zeus, who ruled the Earth, and Hades, who ruled the Underworld.

Poseidon is the name given to our Marine Conservation Project.

The sea stretching between Rdum Majjiesa and Ras ir-Raħeb has been declared Malta's first Marine Conservation Area (MCA). A management plan for this area is in progress. Gaia's marine ranger patrols contribute to the monitoring of the site. We are liaising with MEPA to include the management of this MCA in the overall integrated management of Għajn Tuffieħa. For further details on this site, you can download a feature produced by MEPA.

Marine conservation involves 1. the protection of marine fauna, like fish; crustaceans, such as shrimp, lobster and crab; and echinoderms, such as starfish and sea-urchins; 2. the protection of flora, like seagrass meadows that are important breathing grounds for fish. The most sensitive areas would be declared restricted fishing grounds. Pollution minimisation is also an important feature here.

The marine area stretching from Għajn Barrani to Ramla Bay and San Blas in Gozo is currently under consideration by MEPA for marine conservation status.

The Gaia Foundation has been collaborating with BICREF, a fellow NGO that specialises in marine conservation, in order to carry out a number of surveys in these areas. We are also joining forces with the Gozo Red Cross to carry out marine clean ups around Ramla Bay.

Coastal area from Rdum Majjiesa and Ras ir-Raħeb on the northwest coast of Malta has been declared the first protected Marine Conservation Area under Natura 2000.

The 'Poseidon', our 5 metre Fletcher class patrol boat, purchased under the LIFE project in 2000, used for marine patrols, surveying and beach safety.

:: Beach Safety

As managers of an integrated coastal zone management project, we take beach safety very seriously. Għajn Tuffieħa Bay can be as treacherous during rough weather, owing to a strong undertow, as it is beautiful on a calm day. The undertow can make it very difficult to swim back to shore. During the swimming season we organise 2 safety lines in the bay that would allow swimmers in difficulty to pull themselves ashore. This system has been extremely effective since its introduction in 1998.

In case you ever find yourself in difficulty reaching the shore in any swimming area in The Maltese Islands, owing to a strong undercurrent, you should avoid swimming breaststroke, which makes you more vulnerable. Try 'freestyle' swimming on the surface, and the surface waves will sweep you to shore.

For further information on beach safety, check out the Malta Martime Authority's website.

Maltese legislation peraining Nature protection

- Legal Notice 49 of 1993: Flora and Fauna Protection Regulations

- Legal Notice 161 of 1999: Flora and Fauna Protection (Amendment) Regulations

- Legal Notice 12 of 2001: Trees and Woodlands (Protection) Regulations

- Legal Notice 257 of 2003: Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations

Maritime regulations

Get up to date with the maritime regulations on the Malta Maritime Authority site


Diver's Paradise
Photo by: Alberto Vanzo

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Poseidon Links

- Malta Maritime Authority

- MRAE - The Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Environment

- The Ecologist Magazine

- European Commission DG XII Marine Science and Technology Programme

- No more Marine Litter Campaign

- Euro Turtle: Mediterranean Sea turtles


- MEDNET: Environmental Network for the Knowledge and Management of the Marine and Coastal Territory within the Mediterranean Sea

- MEDWET: Mediterranean Wetlands Strategy

- Mediterranean Oceanic Data Base, Oceanographic Research. University of Liege. (MODB)

- Guide to Oceanographic and Marine Data & Information in Europe

- EUROCOAST Federation: European Coastal Association for Science and Technology

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