I see the need for a greater investment in the fishing industry in Gozo. At present, this industry does not employ many people on a full time basis, and it cannot be considered as a major industry in Gozo. However it is an important supplier of food for local consumption and for the tourist industry. It can create more job opportunities when Gozitans working in this sector, will be assisted to invest in efficient and up-to-date methods of cultivation.
On-the-job training opportunities for Gozitans interested in the fishing industry could be encouraged in order to gain skills in how to operate vehicles or mechanized equipment, control machines and processes, evaluate information against standards document and record information, inspect equipment, structures, or materials, repair and maintain mechanical equipment as well as to perform administrative tasks and process information amongst others.
Tourists, especially those from central Europe, ask specifically whether it is possible to experience a day or two working with a local fisherman. It's like us wanting to ride a gondola while visiting Venezia. They will pay of course. Have a look at a typical day's programme offered by my foundation in this regard:
One of the services offered by the Ager Foundation is to 'Try out a day at sea on a traditional boat and discover the age-old techniques of a local fisherman.'
Savour and enjoy a 5 to 6 hour fishing programme with expert Gozitan fishermen who proactively involve and engage you in their art and science, enabling you to pick up and practice new tips and techniques deployed in what is still a dynamic industry and popular sport for these islanders.
Their brightly-painted 'Luzzu' fishing boats, bearing the Phoenician 'eye of Osiris' on the prow serve as ample testimony of a rich culture pre-dating modern times. Or else if you are a small group experience the 'frajgatina'
Maltese and Gozitan cuisine is greatly influenced by the sea; the favourite fish dish being Lampuka, the so-called dorado, a tasty, versatile fish which appears in markets in the autumn.
Our busy programme includes deft techniques in bait-fishing and 'finger fishing', using a pliable rod three to five meters long, not necessarily with a reel. The hook and bait are simply dangled and a float is attached as a bite indicator. The elusive knack of it lies in a perfectly timed flick of the wrist. Kids just love this!
Fishing from a 'dghajsa' and using other traditional fishing devices and techniques, you may be lucky enough to catch Rainbow Wrasse, Blue Damselfish, Grouper and many other seasonal fish.
Transport may be arranged (optional)
Ager Foundation personnel communicate with you and discuss your tastes and requests - eventually designing together a tailor-made programme which suites you best.
For instance, the boat trip can be arranged for the morning (usually from 9hrs until 15hrs) or for an afternoon (usually 16hrs until 21hrs) trip.
A typical day's programme (a morning programme):
Meeting with Ager Foundation Personnel and the host
Off to the sea-shore for the catch and fishing (using different techniques where you actively take part in)
A boat ride by the cliffs and traditionally grilling of the fresh catch (possibly on Comino) or in one of the impressive caves, enjoying a traditional lunch with the fisherman
14:30 Back to the seashore, meeting again Ager Foundation Personnel for feedback.
Join the fishermen on-board for an authentic, tasty lunch, all included in the price.
As for your catch? Take it home with you or cook it fresh there and then.
And let me share this with you: The demand is greater than the supply!
Will share some other ideas with you soon....then let's call it Job Opportunities for Gozitans (3)