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Marine Scientific Surveys around Filfla for its Conservation

The Islet of FilflaThe project "Marine Scientific Surveys around Filfla for its Conservation" was financed from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is one of the EU's Structural Funds, under the Single Programming Document 2004 – 2006 programme.

The main aim of the project was to obtain accurate scientific data on the area around Filfla. This information is necessary for the Government to decide whether the area qualifies for the designation as a marine potential Site of Community Importance (pSCI) and may eventually be later designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the terms of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC). The project involved the compilation of data through field surveys, using various techniques, including diving and remote surveillance by submersibles. Data collected was analysed and presented in comprehensive reports on the status of marine species and habitats in the area.

Leaflets, booklets, and an educational video were also produced as part of this project with the intention of raising awareness amongst the general public and stakeholders.  Furthermore, visitors to Wied iz-Zurrieq are now able to take a closer look to the islet of Filfla through a telescope which was also funded as part of this project.

The total budget for the initiative was €200,000, of which 73% was financed by the EU and a further 27% was provided by the Maltese Government.

Following an open tendering procedure, the contract for implementing marine scientific surveys was awarded to AIS Environmental Ltd and Envision Mapping Ltd. . The project was concluded at the end of 2006.

The results of this project fed into the National Marine Protected Area Strategy which was recently approved by MEPA for interdepartmental consultation. Besides this, the experience gained from this project shall serve as the blueprint for the drafting of management plans for other Marine Protected Areas including the marine protected area from Rdum Majjiesa to Ras ir-Raheb.  

Within MEPA, this initiative was coordinated by the Ecosystems Management Unit with assistance from the International Projects Team of the EU and Multilateral Affairs Unit, which helped to secure EU funding. More information about Protected Areas can be found by clicking here.


Scoping Report


Desk Study Report


Diving Survey Report


Acoustic & Video Report Maps






Draft Management and Monitoring Report Appendices


EU Funds for Marine Scientific Surveys in the area around Filfla - 29/03/06
NOTE: The draft management and monitoring plans are the results of the project, as drafted by the project contractors. These plans are not yet approved by MEPA and are still subject to review by various authorities.

Structural Funds Programme for Malta 2004-2006
Project co-financed by the European Union
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Co-financing rate: 73% EU Funds; 27% Government of Malta