From fishy slime to fish guts and carcasses
Reports of fish entrails washing up on northern bays
Fish farm slime that plagued bathers throughout summer seems to have been replaced by something even more horrid - fish entrails and carcasses.
People visiting Ghadira Bay this morning turned to Facebook to complain about "huge bits of fish" floating in the usually picturesque bay.
The complaints come after St Paul's Bay locals reported the unbearable stench of rotting fish at Mistra Bay yesterday, with large chunks of offal washing up to the shore.
Cleansing Department officials were immediately dispatched to clean up the site, much as they did on Sunday, when TVM reported that the carcasses of entire tuna fish had washed ashore at Imġiebaħ Bay, Selmun.
Fish farm operators made headlines over summer, as oily, fishy slime began hitting local shores in record quantities. As complaints mounted, the Planning Authority announced that it would be revoking cage permits belonging to four operators, requiring them to move to a different location further offshore.
Despite the PA having allowed operators to set their own management plans to leave the offending sites, until 10 days ago two of the four operators were still in breach of conditions.
'They even picked up half a tuna'
Photos showed Cleansing Department officials knee-deep in the water at Mellieħa Bay, hard at work cleaning up fish remains.
"We were there but had to leave as the smell was unbearable," one wrote this morning, as another said that officials "even picked up half a tuna".
Fish entrails that found their way to Mistra Bay yesterday were cleaned by two mystery men within hours of photos of the floating offal having been posted to Facebook group Stop the Slime.
"They arrived in a blue van and set about collecting the fish guts using a rake and a wheelie bin," a St Paul's Bay resident who was in the area told Times of Malta.
A man whose Facebook profile lists his job as sales representative at AJD Tuna - one of the fish farm operators whose permits were revoked by the Planning Authority last month - subsequently posted on Facebook that the waste had been collected "by a company representative".
But a woman posting in another Facebook group claimed that she was behind the Mistra cleanup, saying "I represent another company in the group and not the tuna farming company. I saw the photos posted on facebook and sent some of my employees and ourselves to clean up."
Attempts at contacting AJD Tuna officials for clarification were unsuccessful.