The importance of the marine environment in securing livelihoods and ensuring good quality of life cannot be underestimated. Our oceans provide food, regulate climate, and sustain a wide range of economic sectors. It is also a known fact that marine waters are facing significant pressures and threats from human activities which need to be addressed through effective management and the protection of biodiversity. For this management to be effective, it must be based on a sound understanding of the marine environment and the pressures it faces.

This project contributes to the effective management and sustainable use of marine resources, through sustained environmental monitoring in marine waters with the aim to assess the state of Malta’s marine waters on a continuous basis, and address current knowledge gaps. Concrete data will be used to develop better management practices to address these pressures.

The project was launched on the 31st July 2017 and concluded in June 2022.

A large part of the project was implemented through service contract CT 3031/2016, between July 2017 and March 2020, which was awarded to the Malta Marine Monitoring Consortium (M3C). The contract had a value of €1,774,000 excluding VAT, and was partially funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for 2014-2020.

Following the closure of the above mentioned contract, additional monitoring and assessment focusing on marine mammals and reptiles, seabirds and food webs, was implemented, making use of project savings through separate procurement processes. The three contracts were implemented between 2020 and 2022:

  • GF/Admin/40/2020 – ‘Service tender for the establishment and pilot implementation of a long-term strategy for Marine Mammals and Marine Reptiles in Maltese Waters’ –was awarded to EcoMarine Malta, with a value of €116,255 excluding VAT
  • GF/Admin/48/2020 – ‘Service tender for the establishment and implementation of a long-term monitoring strategy for breeding seabirds in Malta’ – was awarded to BirdLife Malta, with a value of €48,000 excluding VAT
  • SPD8/2021/016 – ‘Tender for the Analysis of Marine Trophic Guilds in Maltese Waters’ – was awarded to AIS Environment Ltd., with a value of €16,242 excluding VAT

These three contracts were each 75% funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for 2014-2020. The Managing Authority of the EMFF Operational Programme is the Funds and Programmes Division within the Ministry for the Economy, European Funds and Lands (MEFL).

More information on the EMFF OP can be found here.


The project centres around four main activities:

  • Implementation and updating of the monitoring programme
  • Development of a marine database system
  • Analysis of monitoring data, assessment of environmental status and proposals of environmental targets
  • Information and Publicity

More information on each of these activities can be found here.

Project Details

PROJECT TITLE Marine environmental monitoring: towards effective management of Malta’s marine waters
DURATION Q1 2017 – Q2 2022
EU CONTRIBUTION €1,341,372.75 (75% EU Funds)


LEAD Environment and Resources Authority



For more information about the project, contact us.