The Cleansing Department has been collecting two to three dead tuna that wash ashore every day.

Department head Ramon Deguara said that in recent weeks, workers had to remove dead fish that washed ashore, mostly in northern areas. Some had already started to decompose.

About 40 fish had been found in recent weeks, Mr Deguara said.

Though this was not the first time that large fish had been washed ashore, Mr Deguara noted that it seemed to be happening more frequently, despite fish farms moving further away from the coast.

It seems to be happening more frequently, despite fish farms moving further away from the coast

“Some of the more affected areas are Armier, Torri l-Abjad and Pembroke. But we have also removed fish from other areas. The problem, for some reason, seems to be worse this year,” he noted.

He said that at times, the fish would weigh as much as 350 kilos and the department’s workers had to be assisted by the Armed Forces of Malta.

There were instances when the workers had to make their way to secluded areas and carry the dead fish, since it would not be possible to use machinery, Mr Deguara added. He could not say what was causing the problem, pointing out that the department had not expected it once fish farms had been moved further offshore.

Mr Deguara said the fish removed by his department were taken to the incinerator.

The department is regularly tasked with removing sea slime from the coast, even if reports have been less frequent this year.

In March, there were reports of large amounts of white foam in the sea beneath Wignacourt Tower in St Paul’s Bay and close to Exiles in Sliema.

In several cases last summer, the slime was established to have originated from fish farms.

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