Towards Sustainable Management of Land and Sea Uses Within the Marsaxlokk Bay Area

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SPITERI, B., 2011. Towards Sustainable Management of Land and Sea Uses Within the Marsaxokk Bay Area. In: Micallef, A. (ed.), MCRR3-2010 Conference Proceedings, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 61, pp. 242-247. Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy, ISSN 0749-0208.

The Marsaxlokk Bay area is located on the south eastern tip of the Maltese Islands. An area which was traditionally best known for its fishing and beach attractions, it has in recent years undergone a transformation with the introduction and intensification of strategic industrial enterprises and an ensuing shift in the type of land and sea use activities concentrated in this area.

The land uses in the Marsaxlokk Bay area range from industrial (the Freeport, power station and fuel storage facilities) to large and small-scale commercial and recreational (aquaculture, fishing, tourism, agriculture and recreation uses) to residential. It is inevitable that this wide continuum of uses leads to conflicts which tend to emerge over time due to proposals which are perceived to influence the overall quality of life in the Marsaxlokk Bay area. This paper starts off by identifying and analyzing the various land and sea uses linked to the main stakeholders together with their associated impacts. It goes on to illustrate ensuing conflicts and synergies, together with any other issues which could have a bearing on any management initiatives in the area. The paper proposes a framework with an overall aim of promoting overall sustainability vis-a-vis the major economic, social and environmental stakeholders in the Marsaxlokk Bay Area by adopting a holistic approach. The paper is not an attempt to provide ready made solutions to the existing land and sea use issues, but portrays an analysis, which could play a part in the overall improvement of the quality of life in the Marsaxlokk Bay area.

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