The Fish Market is the one place in Malta you are almost guaranteed to encounter elasmobranch, unfortunately. All fish caught have to be sold through the main market in Marsa and this includes all elasmobranch as well as Tuna, Swordfish, Eels, Mackerel and many, many other species which have a commercial value.
Why research at the Market?
This is the one place where you can validate species being brought in from the fishermen, and sold on, to be consumed within the Islands. Malta has a long history of eating many different species of elasmobranch and although you won’t find “Shark Steaks” in the local restaurants, you will find many species on sale on the fish vans almost daily. The consumption of shark, skate and rays in Malta is common place, especially with the older generations, and using their purchases they make a wide variety of different dishes.
What happens after the sale is not what we are interested in with our research at the market.
So what research are we doing?
The 1st category is a simple case of accurately logging all species and quantities of sharks, skates, rays and chimaera being brought to the market for sale. Gathering this data helps to validate the presence of these species within Maltese waters and the immediate surrounding Mediterranean. It also allows the opportunity to study in more detail, a physical sample of some of the species we know inhabit or travel through Maltese waters.