On January 4th 2015, 3 hunters were caught shooting illegally in Marsascala. Their target species was a Shelduck. Apart from shooting illegally on a protected species, the hunters were also using illegal electronic lures.
It is disappointing to see that such illegal activities are still widespread across the island. Several such incidents are reported every year and target species range from common birds such as Barn Swallows to rare birds such as Short-toed Eagles or the White Stork.
The Common Shelduck is listed as protected and is a scarce but regular visitor to the Maltese Islands. It breeds in Europe and North and Central Asia. This bird migrates and winters in the southern parts of North Africa.
ADZ Malta Green Youth condemns such illegal practices and we urge that legal actions are taken immediately and that criminals are prosecuted. Hunters can legally hunt 41 bird species for 5 months, which is the autumn hunting season, and there is no reason, whatsoever to shoot additional protected species. We hope to see more enforcement and that more spot checks and done by the Wild Birds Regulation Unit. We also hope that illegal hunting will decline in future and that harsher penalties are imposed on illegal hunting practices.
Pascal Aloisio (ADŻ Malta Green Youth Executive Member)