A €170,000 investment from the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) in a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) has been launched to further strengthen law enforcement in maritime activities. The RHIB was inaugurated in the presence of the Minister for Environment, Energy and Business Miriam Dalli and the Acting CEO of the Environment and Resources Authority, Kevin Mercieca.
“This €170,000 investment will allow ERA to increase its autonomy and strengthen its monitoring and control within the marine protected area and other commercial activities such as fish farms.”, said Minister Miriam Dalli.
Minister Dalli urged the public to dispose of waste responsibly.
“In the summer there is an increase in waste disposal, particularly near beaches due to increased activity at sea, and when waste is disposed of irresponsibly it will end up on our beaches leaving an impact negative impact on marine life.Through this investment and application, ERA will continue to work with other entities to raise awareness and reduce this impact on the marine environment.”, said The Minister.
ERA Acting CEO Kevin Mercieca explained this this investment will enhance ERA’s role in monitoring sensitive areas that fall under legal requirements imposed by law. When issuing permits for offshore commercial activities, ERA imposes several conditions on operators that are legally binding. These operating conditions aim to ensure the protection of the environment in these activities.
“Over the past few weeks, 20 ERA officials have been trained to operate at sea and carry out the necessary inspections. ERA will now be able to monitor areas inaccessible from land.”, Mr. Mercieca added.
The vessel is an Altamarea WAVE27 measuring an overall length of 8.45m and is equipped with two 150 HP Yamaha engines. It weighs 1,250 kg, can accommodate up to 12 passengers and is capable of reaching speeds of over 40 knots.