Whales mean much more to the World than we may think!

 - Science - Feb 19 SHARE ON:

SEA MARVEL Celebrates World Whale Day

SEA MARVEL indeed, from the smallest planktonic organisms to the largest Fin whales, one can find marvellous creatures around the Maltese Islands. For many, the presence of whales around these small islands is astonishing. Around 14 species of whales have been reported from the Mediterranean Sea and four of these confirmed in Malta. The latter include the Long-finned pilot whale, Cuvier’s beaked whale, Sperm whale and Fin whale.  Research in Maltese waters to study cetaceans (dolphins and whales) has been and still is fundamental to better understand the conservation needs of these species. It is through dedicated professional research that different whales in Maltese waters could be recorded. In fact, Prof Adriana Vella at the University of Malta and the lead scientist of the Conservation Biology Research Group has dedicated over 25 years of scientific field surveys focusing on dolphins, whales, and other vulnerable species.

Fin whales are the biggest animals in the Mediterranean Sea ranging from 20 up to 27 meters and the second largest animal in the World. Sperm whales on the other hand are smaller than Fin whales and range from 16 to 20 meters in length. Sperm whales are toothed whales feeding primarily on large squid and therefore often deep dive in search of their prey.  The long-finned Pilot whales clearly show females (around 5-6 meters) to be smaller than the males (6-7 meters) in size are also deep divers and often prefer to be in large social groups. The most elusive and deepest diving of the whales are the Cuvier’s beaked whales that size around 7 meters.

SEA MARVEL, an Interreg Italia-Malta project, has at heart important thematic dates to commemorate an aspect to help achieve conservation of the marine environment, and this includes the World Whale Day (16th of February). This day helps us remember the importance of whales as part of the intricate marine ecosystem and valuable biodiversity.

In fact, whales are indeed ecologically essential to the wellbeing of our seas and have been found to aid in mechanisms to mitigate climate change impacts. Whales are responsible to keep a stable ecosystem through their feeding behaviour where they feed in the depths of the ocean in pitch darkness and then travel to the surface of the sea, where theyrelease faecal plumes which are rich in Iron and Nitrogen, a mechanism known by biologists as the “whale pump”. These nutrients are often scarce in the surface waters and once in the surface these nutrients fertilise the surface water and sustain the phytoplankton, organisms at the base of all marine food chains. The ecological and economic importance of whales is being highlighted by the SEA MARVEL team also among secondary schools through dedicated discussions with the students.

The incredible adaptations of these whales to use echolocation to find food in darkness also ends up making them extremely vulnerable to the increasing diversity and intensity of anthropogenically caused marine noise.  So, noise pollution, apart from plastic and other forms of pollution are putting these extraordinary creatures in danger.

Raising awareness on the importance of whales among the young generation is important to ensure their future survival considering the ever-increasing pressures and threats faced by these animals. These animals suffer from pollution and from intense marine traffic apart from being affected by natural catastrophic events, as we humans do. The latest heart-wrenching suffering brought about by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria may have also affected whales. It is being reporteda that the Cuvier’s beaked whales’ strandings in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, were due to theseearthquakes.  Cuvier’s beaked whales have also stranded along Malta’s shores in the past and it is therefore important to study in detail the causes of such deaths to learn and improve management of our marine environment.

The Italia-Malta Interreg project SEA MARVEL is working to understand and study whale distribution in the central Mediterranean sea, especially in Natura 2000 sites and their immediate proximity to bring to the fore their needs too.


The streets of Nadur left spotless after Carnival celebrations

 - Local - Feb 19 SHARE ON:

Nadur is known for its spontaneous carnival celebrations that take place each year. These festivities are a highlight of the town’s cultural calendar, drawing visitors from all over the world to experience the vibrant atmosphere and colorful costumes. However, with the joy and excitement of the carnival comes the challenge of managing the large crowds and cleaning up the streets after the festivities.

This year, the Nadur Local Council rose to the challenge, demonstrating their commitment to keeping the town clean and safe for residents and visitors alike. Within just a few hours of the spontaneous carnival celebrations, organised by the council, in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo, G7 events, and Malta Daily, the council had mobilised a team of workers who worked tirelessly to clean up the streets and public areas that had been used during the festivities.

The Nadur Local Council ensured that the streets were left spotless. They cleared up everything that was scattered on the ground, while also manually sweeping the streets and sidewalks to ensure that nothing was left behind. In addition, they placed numerous garbage bins in strategic locations throughout the town to encourage the thousands of visitors to dispose of their waste responsibly.

The efforts of the Nadur Local Council did not go unnoticed, with many residents and visitors praising the council’s swift action and commitment to maintaining the town’s cleanliness. Mayor Edward Said, expressed his gratitude to the workers who had worked tirelessly throughout the night to clean up the streets, as well as to the residents and visitors who had helped to keep the town clean.

The success of this year’s carnival celebrations in Nadur is a testament to the importance of effective planning and coordination between local authorities, residents, visitors, and organisers. By working together to ensure that the town remained clean and safe throughout the festivities, the council and the community have set a high standard for future events in the town.

In conclusion, the Nadur Local Council’s quick and efficient response to the cleaning challenges posed by the spontaneous carnival celebrations is a shining example of the town’s commitment to maintaining a clean and safe environment for all. Their dedication to keeping the streets clean and clear after the festivities is an inspiration to other towns and cities, and a reminder of the importance of responsible waste management and environmental stewardship.


Nadur spontaneous carnival celebrations to kick off day two at 5.30PM

 - Local - Feb 18 SHARE ON:
Nadur spontaneous carnival celebrations to kick off day two at 5.30PM

The second day of the Nadur Spontaneous Carnival will kick off later today at 5.30PM in front of the Nadur Parish Church, with a host of Malta’s top performers to hit the stage.


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A post shared by Malta Daily (@maltadaily.mt)

Today’s line-up features some of Malta’s top local DJs Debrii, Koroma, Miggy, Cleaven, D-Rey, Gabii, Nagem, Kieren, JD Patrick, Sar & Mykill, with the true stars of the show being the costumed heroes which hit the streets of Nadur.

Friday’s ingenious costumes and floats included BCRS machines, cannabis growers and a Love Island crew, amongst others.

Unlike other carnivals, the Nadur Spontaneous Carnival is not choreographed or planned in advance, making the Gozitan celebrations a one-of-a-kind event loved by locals and foreigners alike.

What are YOU dressing as today?



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Wholesome moment as Malta Police Force takes photo with children in costumes

 - Local - Feb 18 SHARE ON:
Wholesome moment as Malta Police Force takes photo with children in costumes

Officials within the Malta Police Force experienced quite the wholesome moment this weekend as a few children stopped the officers in the streets of Nadur to snap a photo.

In a post published on The Malta Police Force’s Facebook page, Malta’s police stated “If your kid is dressed as a police officer, feel free to stop us for a photo during our patrols and send us the photos via messenger or upload them on FB using hashtag #maltapolice and we’ll gladly share them on our stories over this weekend.”

The police went on to appeal to the public to respect one another and enjoy responsibly as day 2 of carnival celebrations begin in Malta & Gozo.

Festivities are set to start in Nadur this afternoon at 5.30PM after a busy first night on Friday.


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