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Lower levels of stinging jellyfish expected for summer 2023

Lower levels of stinging jellyfish expected for summer 2023
Apr 25 2023 Share

Speaking to MaltaDaily, marine biologist Alan Deidun explained how lower levels of jellyfish can be expected for summer 2023. 

When asked about stinging jellyfish, which is a different species to the blue ‘qlugħ’ jellyfish which have been populating local beaches, Deidun explained how their breeding patterns suggest a lower turnout this summer.

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This stinging jellyfish species hatches in the same period during the year, with eggs being laid at the end of December and beginning of February. 

 

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Marine biologists like Deidun stay very attentive during these periods and what kind of winter weather we have. 

Deidun explained how winter of the previous year was more intense, with more rain and cold. This meant that the jellyfish hatched later and thus flooded the beaches during the summer.

Despite being slightly early to tell, this year indicates that jellyfish are already among us and could therefore not be present during summer 2023. This does not mean there won’t be any jellyfish, but a lesser amount can be expected Deidun explained. 

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3,295 individuals made use of domestic violence services in 2021

3,295 individuals made use of domestic violence services in 2021
Apr 25 2023 Share

The National Statistics Office released new data showing that, in 2021, 3,295 individuals made use of the different services available to those experiencing domestic violence.

When compared to 2020, persons making use of such services during the reference year increased by 12.9 per cent in 2021.

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Of the persons making use of services offered to persons experiencing domestic violence, 78.9 per cent were females.

During 2021, 171 persons made use of services available for perpetrators.

In 2021, as in previous years, the main services used by persons experiencing domestic violence were the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) within Aġenzija Appoġġ (2,461 registered cases) and the Police Department (1,918 individual reports).

 In 2021, more than half of the total cases registered across all services involved persons aged between 30 and 49 years old. The majority, 85.3 per cent, were cases involving Maltese nationals

When compared to 2019, the number of persons using services for support on domestic violence increased by 28.5 per cent, from 2,565 to 3,295. 

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The Għadira Project will be accessible for the public in June

Apr 25 2023 Share

The Għadira Project is a major infrastructure development aimed at enhancing the traffic flow and active mobility options in the area.

This €8 million investment is located in the northern part of Malta and stretches for a total of 3.3 km, with a 1 km promenade project that runs parallel to the popular Għadira Bay.

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The project was divided into three phases, with the first phase of works starting in January 2022 and ending in May 2022.

The second phase, which involves the southbound lanes from Ċirkewwa to Mellieħa, started in October 2022 and will be open for public access on the first week of June.

The third and final phase of works is scheduled to take place from October 2023 to March 2024, and it will include the installation of street furniture, among other things.

According to Ivan Falzon, CEO of Infrastructure Malta, the Għadira project is a very complex one, aimed at improving the traffic flow and enhancing active mobility and road safety.

Għadira Bay is a popular tourist destination, attracting over 2 million visitors during the peak summer months.

Therefore, it was important for Infrastructure Malta to prioritise the needs of pedestrians and public transport users when planning the project.

One of the key changes that the project has introduced is the separation of bus stops from the road.

The speed limit has also been reduced to 50km per hour, with the aim of reducing accidents and improving safety for all road users.

In addition, a total of 129 parking spaces have been created along the road, but only on the bay side. Parking on the other side of the road is not permitted.

The Għadira project has also introduced a new slip road, allowing drivers to bypass the roundabout and avoid congestion during peak hours.

Additionally, 500-600m of the road has been reduced to one lane, with the rest of the road remaining at two lanes. The central strip can be used as a tidal lane in case of a major accident, improving the traffic flow in the area.

The project has also made the street more level with the beach, providing a more modern image to the area.

With the project now entering its final phase, it is expected to make a significant impact on the local community and tourists alike.

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Violence from siblings & peers most common abuse experienced by children

Violence from siblings & peers most common abuse experienced by children
Apr 25 2023 Share

The issue of violence against children is a pervasive problem that affects communities worldwide, and Malta is no exception.

In a recent study commissioned by the Commission on Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence, researchers from the University of Malta’s Department of Child and Family Studies found that abusive experiences in childhood are prevalent in Malta, with violence from siblings and peers being the most common form of abuse experienced by children.

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The findings of the study were presented at a national conference called ‘Protecting Children from Violence,’ which was attended by the European Commissioner for Equality, Dr. Helena Dalli, as well as several Maltese government officials, including Minister Michael Falzon, Minister Jonathan Attard, Minister Byron Camilleri, and Parliamentary Secretary Rebecca Buttigieg.

Dr. Clarissa Sammut Scerri, the lead researcher on the study, presented the findings, which were based on a quantitative survey of 433 participants aged 18 to 24. The survey included questions about childhood domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, experiences of sibling and peer violence, and experiences of sexual violence. The results showed that violence from siblings and peers was the most prevalent form of abuse, with 75.3% of respondents reporting such experiences. This was followed by bad treatment at 61.4%, and witnessing domestic violence at 52%.

The European Commissioner for Equality, Dr. Helena Dalli, emphasised the need for more knowledge about the impact of domestic violence on children, as well as the importance of prioritizing the interests of children in the fight against domestic violence. Minister Michael Falzon affirmed the government’s commitment to giving more visibility and attention to cases of domestic violence, especially those involving children. He also mentioned the government’s investment in alternative care services to ensure that children exposed to violent environments are brought up in a safe and alternative environment.

Minister Byron Camilleri noted that the study sheds new light on the reality of domestic violence, as it focuses on the impact of violence on children, rather than just on the victim in isolation. He stressed the need for continued efforts to combat domestic violence, including the recent proposed law that would give people in a relationship the right to verify if the other party has been sentenced in connection with a case of domestic violence.

During the conference, Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms and Equality Rebecca Buttigieg highlighted the importance of prevention measures, such as educational campaigns like the ‘Safe Dates’ project, to help young people understand what healthy and non-abusive relationships look like.

The conference was closed by Commissioner for Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence, Ms. Audrey Friggieri, who stressed the importance of local research in developing effective policies on domestic violence that reflect the realities of Maltese society.

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