Culture
Salina’s back! Malta’s largest man-made salt pans are producing salt once more
In their heyday, the Salina Salt Pans produced around 4,000 tonnes of coarse salt per year.

Benjamin Abela

The Salina Nature Reserve took to social media to announce that after many years, it has once again taken to using its salt pans to produce salt.

The practice of producing salt in such a manner was popularised by the Knights of Saint John, who are also responsible for the construction of the largest man-made salt pans in Malta – the Salina Salt Pans.

“This is a long process that takes several months. After the bulk of the winter storms have come and gone, in March or April the salt pans earmarked for salt production are pumped dry and cleaned by hand, first with shovels and then power-washed spotless,” the nature reserve wrote.

In their heyday, the Salina Salt Pans could produce around 4,000 tonnes of coarse salt per year, however with the advent of cheap, imported, table salt, the practice died down considerably.

Describing the process by which salt is nowadays produced, the nature reserve said that “newly-installed water valves are opened and water is directed in from the sea, through the outer silt capture basins, through a distribution canal, and into the clean salt pan – all by gravity.”

After that, the Salina Nature Reserve must endure a considerable amount of waiting time before once again interfering in the process.

“By June, the salt starts crystallising, first in a thin crust, but by the end of the month, a thick layer is clearly visible. Before the salt pan dries up completely, using shovels and a lot of elbow grease, the salt is heaped into mini pyramids and allowed to dry up even further for a couple of weeks,” the nature reserve continued.

At that point, the salt is ready for harvest and staff from BirdLife Malta reserves come together to store the product in salt storage barns.

Looking to get your hands on some Salina salt?

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer. In the coming weeks, the nature reserve will be sending samples of the salt abroad for laboratory testing to confirm quality, and if the results are favourable, then rest assured that it will be packaged for sale.

4th August 2021


Benjamin  Abela
Written by
Benjamin Abela
Benjamin is a Writer at Content House Group. With his background in journalism, marketing, and the arts, Benjamin enjoys finding the human aspect to any story he gets a hold of. When he's not too busy writing his next article, you could probably find him playing with his cats or performing on a stage.

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