Autumn Hunting Season opens again

The autumn hunting season is now open from 1st September until the 31st of January 2017.  This year, however, a slight change in the regulations has taken place.  From the former 41 species which could be hunted legally during the 5 month hunting season, one species has now been removed from the list being granted protection.  This bird is the red-breasted merganser (Serra in Maltese).

Additionally, another major change is that for turtle dove hunting.  While being one of the favourite game which may be hunted, the turtle dove has been listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to its substantial decline over the last few decades.  This year the government has issued a moratorium on the hunting of turtle dove in spring and now has also limited the hunting of this species.  Hunting of turtle doves is now only permitted during the month of September with a quota of 7,000 birds.

List of birds that may be hunted during the autumn hunting season including the red-breasted merganser which has now been removed from this list (marked in red).  Source: Wild Birds Regulation Unit

We welcome these improvements since we believe in the concept of sustainability.  Hunting such species in spring has always been bad since it contributes substantially to turtle dove population declines.  For such reasons, ADŻ Malta Green Youth has always voiced its concern over spring hunting and we always opposed any decisions taken in the past to open such a season.  The fact that such a decision has been taken is a step in the right direction.  Additionally introducing further restrictions for turtle doves during the autumn hunting season is a vital step for the conservation of this species.

While migration has already started with quite some interesting species being observed in the past couple of weeks, it will reach its peak in a few weeks time when several flocks of birds, particularly birds of prey can be observed flying over the Maltese Islands.  All birds which are not listed under Schedule IIB of L.S. 504.71 (now excluding the Red-Breasted Merganser) are all protected by law and may not be shot.  Therefore, we urge the public and law abiding hunters to report any illegalities to the police in order to safeguard the future of our natural heritage.

Alternative means of transport for Marsamxett and Grand Harbour area

Recently the government has called for proposals to improve transport links around Marsamxett and the Grand Harbour.  There are several alternative means of transport which may be used.

Probably the easiest solution to the widespread problem of traffic congestion would be to improve the bus system.  The bus system in Malta is described as ‘disastrous’ since buses are very irregular and almost always full up.  This problem is even greater in summer when flocks of tourists visit our tiny island.  Therefore we strongly encourage the Malta transport authority to improve the bus system.  If the number of buses operating had to be increased, particularly during the summer season, this would encourage people to use the bus, rather than their own means of transport.  This would substantially reduce traffic, which in turn will lead to buses arriving on time, as they face less traffic congestions.



Another alternative is making more use of sea transport.  The ferry service has substantially improved over the years and is very efficient.  Additionally water taxis can also be used, particularly the existing ones at the Grand Harbour.  Not only are the prices relatively low, but they are extremely reliable.  We suggest that both the use of water taxis and the ferry should be promoted more.  The tourism industry could be very influential by promoting these two means of transport to tourists.  This would not only reduce the amount of passengers on buses, but would give tourists a different perspective of the Marsamxett and Grand Harbour, which is crossing the harbours by sea.  Not only will this be a different experience, but people might also have a better opportunity to appreciate our cultural heritage.  In addition, this would also create more jobs if more sea craft are required.


Recently several proposals for an underground monorail have been made.  This system could indeed be beneficial to our infrastructure.  Many cities abroad make use of monorails and they are very efficient.  An advantage of this system is that it will not take up any land, since it will be underground.  Therefore, no additional roads or lanes on land need to be established.  The only issues here are the high capital costs required for this system and the high degree of uncertainty with regards to public perception.  More research must be carried out for a monorail system.

Improving our transport system is vital for our society.  Better use of public transport will not only be beneficial to the environment by reducing the amount of pollutants in the atmosphere, but this will also reduce negative impacts on our health.  Additionally improved public transportation will also benefit the economy, since less time is wasted in traffic jams and more means of public transport will also create more jobs.

Pascal Aloisio – ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer

Mezzi alternattivi ta’ trasport f’Marsamxett u l-Port il-Kbir

Ftit ilu, il-gvern ħabbar li ser ikun qed jilqa proposti biex titjieb is-sistema ta’ trasport fl-inħawi ta’ Marsamxett u l-Port il-Kbir.  Hemm ħafna mezzi alternattivi ta’ trasport li jistaw jintużaw.

Waħda mill-aktar soluzzjonijiet faċli għal problema tat-traffiku hija li titjieb is-sistema tal-karozzi tal-linja.  Dan is-servizz minn dejjem kien magħruf bħala ‘diżastruz’ għaliex il-karozzi tal-linja qatt ma jaslu fil-ħin u dejjem ikunu mimlijin nies.  Din il-problema hija aktar evidenti fis-sajf, fejn ħafna iżjed turisti iżuru pajjiżna.  Għalhekk aħna ninkoraġġixxu lil awtorita’ tat-trasport pubbliku bies ittejjeb is-servizz tal-karozzi tal-linja.  Jekk in-numru ta’ karozzi tal-linja li joperaw kellhu jiżdied, speċjalment fix-xhur tas-sajf, dan jinkoraġġixxi lin-nies biex jużaw il-karozzi tal-linja, minflok jużaw il-karozzi tahhom.  Dan kieku iwassal ghal tnaqqis sostanzjali ta’ traffiku, li iwassal ukoll sabiex il-karozzi tal-linja jaslu fil-ħin għax jiffaċċjaw inqas traffiku.



Alternattiva oħra hija li jintuża iżjed it-trasport tal-baħar.  Is-servizz tal-lanċa mar għal-aħjar fis-snin li għaddew u illum il-ġurnata huwa effiċenti ħafna.  Madanakollu, il-water taxis jistaw jintużaw ukoll, speċjalment dawk li diġa jeżistu fil-Port il-Kbir.  Mhux biss talli il-prezz huwa relattivament tajjeb, imma dawn is-servizzi huma effiċenti ħafna.  Aħna nissuġġerixxu li l-awtoritajiet għandhom jinkoraġġixxu kemm l-użu tal-water taxis, kif ukoll dak tal-lanċa.  Anke l-industrija tat-turiżmu tista tippromwovi dawn il-mezzi ta’ trasport.  Dan mhux biss talli iwassal għal tnaqqis ta’ passaġġieri li jużaw il-karozzi tal-linja, iżda jagħti ukoll perspettiva differenti lit-turisti tal-portijiet ta’ Marsamxett u l-Port il-Kbir imbilli jaqsmu il-portijiet bil-baħar.  Dan mhux biss talli iwassal ghal esperjenza differenti għal-passaġġieri, imma dan jista’ iwassal ukoll li in-nies japprezzaw iżjed il-wirt kulturali ta’ pajjiżna.  Apparti minn hekk, dan jista’ joħloq aktar xogħol jekk iżjed mezzi ta’ trasport tal-baħar huwa meħtieġ.

underground1Riċentament saru ħafna proposti dwar monorail taħt l-art.  Din is-sistema tista twassal għal ħafna vantaġġi għal-infrastruttura tagħna.  Ħafna pajjiżi barra xtutna jagħmlu użu minn din is-sistema u dawn huma effiċenti ħafna.  Vantaġġ ta’ din is-sistema huwa li l-monorail m’għandiex bżonn medda ta’ art peress li din ser topera taħt l-art u għalhekk m’hemmx għalfejn jinbnew toroq ġodda.  L-unika kwistjoni hawnhekk hija l-ispiża kapitali kbira u l-ammont kbir ta’ inċertezza ta’ perċezzjoni tal-pubbliku.  Hemm bżonn ta’ aktar riċerka għal din is-sistema.

Li intejbu is-sistema ta’ trasport f’pajjiżna hija essenzjali ghas-soċjeta tagħna.  Trasport pubbliku aħjar mhux biss ser ikun tajjeb għall-ambjent imbilli innaqsu l-ammon ta’ tniġġis fl-arja, iżda dan inaqqas l-impatt negattiv fuq saħħitna ukoll.  Aktar minn hekk, sistema ta’ trasport pubbliku ser twassal għal impatti pożittivi għall-ekonomija peress li inqas ħin jinħela fit-traffiku u iżjed sistemi differenti ta’ trasport joħolqu iżjed xogħol.

Pascal Aloisio – ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer