Idea to help Malta control illegal trapping / hunting

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Would you report illegal trapping if anonymously you get in cash 20% of the fine inflicted?

Yes
9
82%
No
2
18%
 
Total votes: 11

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Idea to help Malta control illegal trapping / hunting

Post by MWP admin » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:29 pm

As many of you are aware, Malta was warned by EU that it is not doing enough to control bird trapping and hunting, namely in Spring.

Despite the laws, the bird trapper or hunter would not care much as he would reason out "who will ever catch me in this far-away garigue" and so he takes the risk as a pinch of salt as he knows that a very very low probability that one of the 25 ALE members will pass in the far-away garigue

The probability that some excusionist would pass from the far-away garigue is much more feasible, but this would have no effect as the excursionist would not care - nothing to gain.

But I have an idea which would work perfectly in our country. What if we motivate the excursionsit???

I would make an amendment in the law that if one sms/phone ALE/police about such an illegal act, he will get 20% of the hefty fine (xxx Euros) inflicted to the trapper. Everything will be kept anonymously hence the trapper cannot know the name of the one who phoned. This is not quite effective on hunters on the go but very effective on stationary bird trappers as they cannot flee easily.

Actually what I think will happen is that no trapper would dare since he would be aware that anyone of the 400,000 possible citizens and other tourists (not 25 ALEs) can put him in trouble.

Nowadays new mobiles comes with GPS co-ordinates, and quite easy to send them by sms. I am sure that a number of youths would report if there is this type of motivation. Some 50 Euros in the pocket for an sms would not be bad afterall.

What do you think about it? What will be the effect of such law?
Would you agree to be implimented
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Post by D. Cilia » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:08 pm

50 euros are not bad, but I think we need to stop this notion that everything looks better with money involved. One should just report illegal trappers because it's the RIGHT thing to do, not because there is some material gain waiting to be collected.

However it's still a plausible incentive. Perhaps someone who pulls the strings will eventually read this thread...

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Post by Glimbo » Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:01 pm

A TV programme would be the best way to get results, showing how the wildlife is affected and the whole balance of nature is disturbed, thereby indirectly threatening the tourist revenue and properity of the Islands.

Also, you could get polititians involved in a campaign that shows them in a good light with National and International Environmental Bodies.

Those tactics work well, but need a lot of dedication, time and money to carry them through. The whole question of 'Hunting' per se. is a perrenial problem, from people taking pot-shots at things to organised events.
g

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Post by Tetraclinis » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:50 pm

This is a really clever idea! It will work without any doubt. Instead bottle pickers in the street we would have people roaming the countryside. Well the concept of this idea is that it will make a sane hunter/trapper to think it 100 times before he lays his nest!

It should be implimented asap!

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Post by RB » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:23 pm

Rather wishful but no. You can't take someone to court without witnesses, so unless they are caught in the act and the witness is willing to testify (non-anonymously by inference) then nothing doing. Aside from the fact that remuneration of any sort makes the "reporting party" a highly biased witness whose testimony would almost by default be thrown out of court, simply because of the incentive.

Does not work like that sadly although I can see the reasoning.

There is nothing stopping anyone from reporting any illegal activities to the ALE/whoever, who will if possible follow this up. If they catch these persons in the act or find evidence, then that's it, but it may well be that you may be called to testify. If you refuse and they may need your testimony for the case to hold, then it will be dropped. If you refuse (as many do) then you fall into the category of people who have no legs to stand on and always expect others to sort out their (or society's) problems.

Furthermore how easy is it for the layman to actually decide what is and what is not illegal hunting and trapping?

From the utter nonsense about the subject often published in newspapers, I'd say very difficult. Sometimes even the hunters are bewildered, although many have a "shoot first ask questions later" policy :shock:

RB

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Post by Tetraclinis » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:56 pm

RB, it seems that you have not read admins' post or did not understand his point (or maybe you are a trapper yourself ?)

He said that the public will report the trapper to ALE, and then if ALE comes and find the irresponsible, part of the fine is given to the public. There is no need of a testimony - because ALE will be in business. Something alike the car exhaust sms, but this time with a reward.

If you are not aware all trapping and hunting is illegal in Spring, so there are no excuses. Thus to make it simple for you, if ALE goes to the reported site and sees a net and a bunch of cages, that's red-handed with no questions asked.

Seems you are one of them, I followed some of your threads and you often take a position of defending them (in your between the lines style).

So voting 'no' to this (not at least remaining neutral) makes my opinion that you are connected to bird hunting. Hope you enjoy your last 1 month ! :evil:

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Post by RB » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:36 am

No I am not a trapper yet on the other hand I do not believe that hunting is inherently "bad". If you want to expound on that argument, fine.

It may be very "bad" the way it often practised illegally in Malta, which illegal practice is highly prevalent, but it is not "bad" in itself.

I've gone (far) past the happy-teen self-righteous phase where everything is in black and white and there is only bad or good, with maturity one realises that there is plenty of grey in between, I am guessing however that your time is still to come.

I do confess to having skimmed over admin's post too fast - unfortunately I don't always have the time to read posts in full and tend to try to get the gist. So much of what I said was redundant.

JFYI I did not vote no - I did not vote at all.

My main drift was venting the fact that I am really pi$$ed off by people who never assume responsiblilty for doing their part but continually whinge that something should be done, but when it comes to the crunch (as in testifying in court) then they just show that they are spineless.

Secondly I am also pi$$ed off by people who really, well I don't know where to start from, but like I said, they know f-a about a subject and preach from high above, and furthermore basing their preaching on totally invalid and fallacious arguments, which have only one result - that of alienating and antagonising the "guilty" party that ideally they should be educating. Net result is worse than zero.

Unfortunately you do not seem to be very well informed either:
Tetraclinis wrote:If you are not aware all ............ .... hunting is illegal in Spring, so there are no excuses.
I rest my case.

RB

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Post by MWP admin » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:59 am

Hi, I do not want to dispute much in between, but just want to assure Tetraclinis that RB in not a hunter/trapper, and that everyone has an opinion and vote as (s)he wish (Democracy hu!)

On the other hand, it would be appropriate that who votes (yes or No) would state his reasons, such in the case of the No-voter.


My main drift was venting the fact that I am really pi$$ed off by people who never assume responsiblilty for doing their part but continually whinge that something should be done, but when it comes to the crunch (as in testifying in court) then they just show that they are spineless.
Put a reward and you see the magic! Afterall I did not invent the idea, but it came from the past. I agree with your point but I do not blame those people (which are most of us here afterall, because we never ever reported anyone in court) because who is going to waste time (=money) to testify face to face against Buffalo Bill or Geronimo for nothing. The idea of being anonymous is part of the magic, and ALE/police would get back in touch from the reporting sms/phone call.

So maybe you can vote now RB :P


PS: All bird trapping is illegal next Spring but do not know about hunting.
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Post by MWP admin » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:08 am

Glimbo wrote:A TV programme would be the best way to get results, showing how the wildlife is affected and the whole balance of nature is disturbed, thereby indirectly threatening the tourist revenue and properity of the Islands.

Also, you could get polititians involved in a campaign that shows them in a good light with National and International Environmental Bodies.

Those tactics work well, but need a lot of dedication, time and money to carry them through. The whole question of 'Hunting' per se. is a perrenial problem, from people taking pot-shots at things to organised events.
g

It will not work Glimbo, becasue it falls on deaf ears (ref to the trappers) and the GOV has only 20-30 Environment Officers to roam around. Hence my idea to involve the public to wear the Hat of the police and get rewarded.

However many are missing the main point which is not really the reward, but the effect on the trapper's mind. Would he dare to lay his net if he knows that the risk of being caught is 1000x as much as it is present now?
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Post by Glimbo » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:47 am

Getting practical popular support for the Legislation is the only answer I agree; but providing adequate policing for it is expensive and difficult for polititians to justify - particularly if they are not, themselves,committed to forcing the change.

It 's an up-hill struggle to get people to report wrong-doers, generally folk just don't want to get involved; even more difficult to encourage people to change an ingrained attitude if it is seen as changing the Culture of the Countryside. A financial incentive could be one answer- 'Name and Shame' another; however, you have to catch people 'in the act' first - then you have to prove guilt - and that is altogether more difficult.

This is an emotive subject and the opportunity to voice one's opinion is always welcome .
g 8)

8) 8) [/quote]

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Post by RB » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:01 pm

The effects of antagonism are already very visible. As a biker, covering far greater areas than walkers, we are continually encountering new gates and signs forbidding access to PRIVATE land, whereas before none existed - passers-by (effectively, we must say, trespassers) were tolerated.

Now there is just an "us" and "them" attitude which is totally counterproductive.

THERE ARE PLENTY of valid reasons why people should not shoot on birds of prey, for example - reasons that 99% of hunters would understand and accept if they were properly pointed out to them, rather than having "ban hunting now" yelled at their faces by trespassers on their land (in many, but not necessarily all cases).

As is, the antagonism has made such harmful practices simply a banner for the cause.

If you are not convinced that education rather than antagonism works, consider that the Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) is NOT shot at because it is considered Malta's national bird, etc, despite the obvious attraction that it must have to being a part of a stuffed bird collection.

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Post by MWP admin » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:48 pm

THERE ARE PLENTY of valid reasons why people should not shoot on birds of prey, for example - reasons that 99% of hunters would understand and accept if they were properly pointed out to them, rather than having "ban hunting now" yelled at their faces by trespassers on their land (in many, but not necessarily all cases).
I completely disagree, becasue this is a business not a sport. As I said if you involve money, you would see magic. A gojjin sells some 12 Euros (LM5) at monti, and a good catch can consists of a 50 birds in a day.

If you are not convinced that education rather than antagonism works, consider that the Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) is NOT shot at because it is considered Malta's national bird, etc, despite the obvious attraction that it must have to being a part of a stuffed bird collection.
Quite wrong, becasue the Blue Rock Thrush is not shot at, but instead its eggs are stolen from nests in cliffs and bred at home for selling it alive. Easier, no need of any license, difficult to be caught red handed. sells Lm40 each (100 Euros) alive. If doesn't sell do you think anyone would dare to risk. Do you think you can ever educate this people to loose xxxxEuros a year?



The robin is another example, its been illegal for many years, but together we experienced a case of youths with a cage trap for catching them and as you remember well I wasn't "spineless" at them ! (what about you at that situation???)


Also you ignore that many trappers rent the land with money ( = not their own land) and if they have a lot of watchdogs, they would not rent again. I always pass over the irrelevant warning signs by foot in the garigues, but I would not dare to pass close to a trapper even if there are no signs at all. It is the presenece of the trapper that counts not the signs. So cant you see the difference ?


Everything is related to MONEY MONEY MONEY and if there not the same weapon of MONEY on the other side (the good side) then its uselss to fight illegal trapping and hunting with a mere 25 officers.

And what happens if EU official watchdogs come again and spot other cases of illegalities, we already have a warning from EU, and the next time we get a 6-figured fine that we tax-payers will at the end of theday have to pay for. You and me will pay it from you hard working salary, while the hunters/trappers will pay it from a fraction of the birds they catch !

I hope you change your attitude of playing the advocate of the devil RB :wink:

PS for the others reading this: I and RB are not :boxing: but arguing different points of view between two-temppered friends :occasion5:
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Post by RB » Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:30 pm

No, MWP, it's not money. These guys stop work for weeks during the hunting/trapping season. Many of them are self employed - consider mechanics, panel beaters, etc, a panel beater makes an easy Lm100, Lm140 a day believe me. They go off work and LOSE a pile of $$$. I've heard this a thousand times, been to fix a car or something, well you know the story, car never gets done, says he goes hunting/trapping (fishing even!!) whatever, and anyway we get chatting and the usual about the cost in lost income and how crazy they are to spend weeks sitting on a cold stone oftentimes for measly satisfaction.

And if not, if the guy is employed, the days spent there can be considered a waste of time/money if it was more productively applied. No-one makes money out of this, sure there may be sales,but the net balance is negative. There is more money to be made out of a part time waiter's job.

As for your 50 bird a day comment, I have friends from a wide spectrum of society, not to mention casual acquaintances, and the (admittedly few) trappers I know, sometimes don't bag that number of birds in a SEASON.

The only money to be made is from importation, legal or otherwise, a subject which is not being discussed here.

Re the Blue Rock Thrush - I said it was not shot, not that it's eggs were not collected by unscrupulous individuals. You yourself say that you "don't need a licence" to do this but then how do you blame hunters/trappers for something that you don't need to be to do something?

Again, the market for a bird which you can only enjoy secretively must be limited. Was not like this in the past of course, in the 70's and 80's I remember seeing a number of these birds hung outside garage doors in full view.

Re the robin incident I do not think it appropriate to comment further - and this not because it is not in my interest.

"Also you ignore that many trappers rent the land with money ( = not their own land) and if they have a lot of watchdogs, they would not rent again. "

If you rent land, that is to all intents and purposes legally "yours" for the duration of the lease - including the right to keep out uninvited guests - even the land owner. As for watchdogs, why should anyone be worried about doing something legal on their land, and why should they not rent out this land again?

"I always pass over the irrelevant warning signs by foot in the garigues, but I would not dare to pass close to a trapper even if there are no signs at all. It is the presenece of the trapper that counts not the signs. So cant you see the difference ? "

As for your "always passing over the irrelevant signs" I'm not sure that I should comment, but the issue of "relevancy" is at stake here. I ask how you determine whether a sign is relevant or not.

As for the presence of a trapper and your giving a wide berth, well that is wise, even if only out of courtesy. You really do not know whether said land is private or otherwise, and unless one MUST traverse to any particular location, even if it is not, then why the confrontation? I would not dive underneath a fisherman's rod when I have an option, even though strictly I have a right to dive anywhere, would anyone in his right mind? Now of course if the fisherman is fishing at the only spot suitable for access to the sea, then he'll have to put up with me while I do my thing. Whether I agree to fishing or otherwise is irrelevant.

Re the EU observers like I said before and I repeat - A LOT of hunting here is of the illegal type, and forget the sh*t that the FKNK say that illegal hunters are a minority. And my point all along is that nothing is being fixed with the wrong and misguided attitude of many. The proof of the pudding is all there to see, I suppose that what you state is simply a confirmation of what I am trying to say. In effect you say that we are paying for others' misdemeanours, I am saying yes, but we are also paying for handling the situation completely wrongly.

After all if you want a dog to follow you, you don't kick him do you?

I'm not the devil's advocate - I'm just stating things the way I see them. If that means being on the opposite side to anyone else's opinions, that does not bother me one bit.

:twisted: :twisted:

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Hunting and trapping

Post by Xemxi » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:28 am

First of all it is my opinion that hunting and trapping should be stopped completely. They contribute to the ever-deteriorating state of the worl'd natural environment - just like cutting down trees, clearing land for building, dumping garbage, etc. etc.
I think there are two ways how this can be done in the Maltese islands, and they go together:
1) Education, education, education. A greater effort has to go into teaching our young children at school. Teach them that this egoistic passtime is ruining the beauty of our Islands, and that of the world as a whole, since birds travel from country to country.
2) Issue no more licences for hunting, trapping or use of guns (unless on plates). Hunters and trappers die, just like all of us. With the death of one of them, his licence is cancelled and no new issued to take his place. In this way this shameful practice will be phased out naturally.

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Post by IL-PINE » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:54 pm

well I must say something here....
like everyone here I am against illegal hunting and trapping.

I agree with most of your observations, hunting is a problem here in Malta, and it will always be due to voters.
However, I am not entirely agains legal setting of both. I prefer passing along the countryside at Wied Encita and seeing the hunter in the dura looking angrily at me, then seeing it ending up as part of a block flats. At least some hunters have the balls to go against these construction workers. If they were not they we would not have Mizieb for example.

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Post by Xemxi » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:10 pm

You have a point, Pine, but that means that certain parts of the countryside can be enjoyed only by these egoistic hunters and trappers who are removing wildlife from their natural environment and scaring other people from these areas.
Building all over the place can be stopped if we all protest together about it. For example, I seem to be alone in opposing a certain ammount of development which has been proposed for Mistra bay. I objected to the original plan. That has now been ammended to something new and there are only about 13 days left to make any new objections. (I have to find out what the new plan is. Can not find it on the MEPA website). If you want to see more about this subject please go to my post on the thread named MEPA, posted yesterday. Forum: The Maltese Rural Affairs and the Environment. (Maybe that was the wrong place to post it!)

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Post by robcar » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:20 pm

A very interesting thread, this is turning out to be. In general, I tend to be in agreement with RB over most points (and to avoid any forum members from jumping to premature conclusions, I am neither hunter nor trapper, and nobody in my family is)

However, I am more than convinced that banning all forms of hunting and trapping is both unrealistic and illogical, although given the hunting model that we have been presented with, based on decades of rampant abuse, I can also understand that many people will be more than happy to see these "traditional" practices being abolished.

As to law abiding hunters, these do exist - the number of this formerly rare variety seems to be on the increase - probably more a result of an increasingly firmer stand on the issue by the hunter's federation and fear of the hefty fines that they may have to face, rather than a conviction on what sustainable hunting is about.

Totally banning hunting a priori raises many questions. All legally huntable species are edible, with some being considered a delicacy. If, and here I stress if, their hunting is sustainable (that is the species concerned are not endangered/compromised by the activity), in itself the activity is very similar to catching fish for food. It is simply the sustainable use of biodiversity for food (even though the main aim would be the sport involved in the hunt itself) - It is illogical to condemn sustainable hunting and at the same time feast on swordfish and lampuki with impunity.

The issue at stake is rampant illegal and/or unsustainable hunting practices.

Spring hunting is in general not allowed in EU countries - it is considered a practice that targets bird at a paricularly important stage of their life cycle i.e. before they raise their young. However, I see nothing intrinsically wrong in some sort of controlled or rather regulated hunting of some species, in particular seasons.

Trapping is a different kettle of fish. Capturing finches from the wild to keep them alive as some sort of pet is considered an unacceptable use of biodiversity (as is after all the capture of reptiles, the pulling up of orchids etc)- this activity will have to stop by the end of this year.

Also one has to be clear about other issues. Pro hunting/trapping individuals harp about the loss of tradition. Again they have a point - however one has to differentiate between the traditional double barelled shot gun and modern methods that make hunting practices less sustainable (radios to inform each other of the presence of the ALE, the fast, high powered speedboats/dinghies which many hunters were buying before hunting laws were amended to limit maximum speeds, etc).

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Post by Xemxi » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:23 pm

Sustainable hunting would be ok (where necessary to keep a balance in nature) and if it could be controlled, but it’s the same problem as with sustainable fishing – you always get those who want to break the law and go on regardless. Until there is nothing left. Apart from that, people wanting to eat meat have a big choice of farm animals and birds to choose from. Fish is being farmed too, to help the supply of sea food.
Hunting for food is for those who cannot afford to buy it. (Definitely not Maltese hunters) But with no control many species go on the endangered list as we know from Africa and Asia.
Maybe it all boils down to one thing: this planet is over populated. We need to practice sustainable living. We are like a plague of locust eating a plant to the ground, but there are no other plants around that we know of.
Why can’t they hunt rats? That is a creature we would be glad to be rid of.

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Post by RB » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:21 am

May I say prosit everybody (esp Robcar with the comparison with fishing) this discussion is getting very mature and balanced.

I wish that people with far greater responsibilities than simply writing on a forum would also reason in this manner!

RB

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Post by MWP admin » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:13 pm

I dont fully agree that birds can be compared to fish. The life cycle is different, the habitat is different, the number of fishermen vs trappers is different, afaik fish produces more offspring than birds per year, the damage to the habitat is different (I just came from Gozo and seen a patch of Iris pseudopumila partially destroyed by a trapping clearing), it leaves a bad influence of tourists (unlike fishing) and many other diferences. I am not promoting illegal fishing, but I dont see a big co-relation except both are of detriment to nature. Also I was told that the number of extinct birds in Malta is quite large. For example Owls were frequent in Malta, but now extinct?!. Surely not because they did not find enough rats in Malta!



The discussion by robcar if we should allow bird trapping in Spring or not is out of question, becasue NOW it is 'enforced' on Malta by EU, so there is nothing to argue upon. As Xemxi said, no one traps birds for eating them, but for selling them / make business (OF COURSE!). The case of the panel beater that RB mentioned maybe 1 in a 1000 - everybody knows thtat there is money involved in the hunting/trapping practice, maybe mixed with passion/tradition. If they really do it just for passion why they dont release back the birds just caught ? On discovery, there was a prog where professional fisherman caught fish, take photos and measurments, and release them back.

BTW, My father is a bird breeder and knows a lot of friends involved in hunting / trapping through the breeding federation and so that's why I have a good picture of the aims of the trappers/hunters. 1 egg of the Blue Rock trush LM25, a young bird LM40-LM50 with cage - it is an illegal act, but who will ever catch the abuser, so he will risk(not much risk actually!) and go again and again - when the cat is away (no cat in this case) the mice will play.

However, no body is focusing the true argument of this post - Law enforcement. It is so bad that we got an official warning from EU since they sent their experts to evaluate the situation in Malta, and probably did a better job from ALE! So can't you realize that something must be done to help ALE and environment officers to enforce this law (good or bad is not the point) The few officers cannot monitor the whole territory in Malta, hence my idea to involve the public.

Without disputing if its good or not, if the law bans trapping in Spring, would it be a good idea that the public have this sort of incentive to help nature and report abusers? It is the same as the free-phone for over-producing of vehicle exhaust.

For being cheated 1c-2c of an Euro, people make so fuss and phone on TV/radio stations and hell out of it, so dont you think this culture will phone a freefone number with the likely possibilty to earn 2c x 1000? I think even jealous trappers will do that.


Now two members voted that this is not a good idea, and so I would like to know why? Why would this not help to enforce the law? Can you explain please?
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Post by MWP admin » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:32 pm

IL-PINE wrote:well I must say something here....
like everyone here I am against illegal hunting and trapping.

I agree with most of your observations, hunting is a problem here in Malta, and it will always be due to voters.
However, I am not entirely agains legal setting of both. I prefer passing along the countryside at Wied Encita and seeing the hunter in the dura looking angrily at me, then seeing it ending up as part of a block flats. At least some hunters have the balls to go against these construction workers. If they were not they we would not have Mizieb for example.
I think there are vast countryside areas in Malta predifend by law that can never be built up - Outside Development Zone. If I am informed well, the gov had to present the ODZ area to EU, and just before doing that he decreased this area by 1-3% and again if informed well, now it cannot be decreased again.

To say the truth, while I am no fan of hunting/trapping, I dont mind fair hunting (with the legal weapon setup) on unprotected birds and do not mind trapping when the flock is plenty (in Autumn) after breeding peacefully in Spring. Now I do not want to open a new argument, and so I hope the prev post is replied.
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Post by robcar » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:08 am

I agree with most of your arguments MWP. I would personally enjoy a hunter free countryside, but what I prefer is besides the point.

My argument is about the principle of hunting per se - You are 100 % right regarding the lack of enforcement, and the environmental damage caused by hunters and particularly trappers who are either ignorant or do not care about flora and fauna. You are also right about the high density of hunters and trappers which, in the absence of very strict regulation and law enforcement makes it difficult for the practice to be sustainable.

However, I remain convinced that there is nothing intrinsically wrong in the principle of sustainable hunting, and you seem to be in agreement to - it is after all just one example of the sustainable use of biodiversityuse of biodiversity.

As regards fishing and the catch and release system you have described, it makes a lot of sense if you are purely into it for sport. However, if you do eat fish, it makes no sense to release what you catch (unless they are too small) only to buy the same fish from the fishmonger

I voted no in the poll simply because if I would not report illegal activities now (to be honest I do not normally venture much into hot hunting territory during peak season, and have never actually witnessed protected birds being shot), there is no reason why I should do it just because money is involved.

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Post by RB » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:22 am

MWP admin wrote: I dont fully agree that birds can be compared to fish. The life cycle is different, the habitat is different, the number of fishermen vs trappers is different, afaik fish produces more offspring than birds per year, the damage to the habitat is different (I just came from Gozo and seen a patch of Iris pseudopumila partially destroyed by a trapping clearing), it leaves a bad influence of tourists (unlike fishing) and many other diferences. I am not promoting illegal fishing, but I dont see a big co-relation except both are of detriment to nature. Also I was told that the number of extinct birds in Malta is quite large. For example Owls were frequent in Malta, but now extinct?!. Surely not because they did not find enough rats in Malta!
The major differences between fishing and catching birds whether alive or dead are that:

most people are not aware of the potential devastating damage that LEGAL overfishing causes;
people find birds cute, but fish are not.

Other that that, here are your own comparisons, debunked:

Fishing is a purely commercial practice done on a massive scale. Purely commercial - OK maybe you can go ahead and just maintain your belief that trappers/hunters do their thing for the money, and I don't see much point in continuing this argument - but fishing most certainly is a 100% commercial activity. LEGAL hunting/trapping is a miniscule part of the story in respect of the reduction in the number of songbirds, etc. LEGAL fishing is putting at risk whole undewater ecosystems and threating the total collapse of fish species. There is a great risk of creating what is known as a new, PERMANENT ecological balance. That is, even if say fishing were to stop tomorrow, a species whose numbers have been seriously decimated will NEVER revert to it's previous population levels, because the ecological balance has now been found again in an altered state, where such a balance MAINTAINS the low numbers of the decimated species, in a perfectly natural way (i.e. without any human intervention).

As an aside, you refer to the damage that clearing areas for trapping sites causes. I agree with you of course, but you seem to intimate that fishing is harmless in this respect? Have you ever heard of dragnets? Absolutely flattening HUNDREDS of square KM of undersea habitat? In one sweep? That is probably where most of the "prawns" and "shrimps" all of us consume, comes from.

As to your reference to the birds that no longer breed in Malta - again, agreed, wish it were different. But ultimately if one fine day hunters are educated and no longer pursue such species, it is no big deal to re-introduce such birds from other countries, where they are plentiful. Again, the comparison is with fishing - so here goes - in fishing terms, one speaks of ENTIRE SEAS and OCEANS being devastated. One speaks of the collapse of stocks of cod in the NORTH SEA, or bluefin tuna in the ATLANTIC. Not in terms of there being no barn owls on a 17-mile rock.

MWP admin wrote: As Xemxi said, no one traps birds for eating them, but for selling them / make business (OF COURSE!). The case of the panel beater that RB mentioned maybe 1 in a 1000 - everybody knows thtat there is money involved in the hunting/trapping practice, maybe mixed with passion/tradition.
See above - no further comment necessary.
MWP admin wrote: If they really do it just for passion why they dont release back the birds just caught ? On discovery, there was a prog where professional fisherman caught fish, take photos and measurments, and release them back.
Maybe because the whole point of the exercise is to have birds to keep in cages, and fish don't do very well in cages? No but seriously... why DO people keep birds in cages?
MWP admin wrote: BTW, My father is a bird breeder and knows a lot of friends involved in hunting / trapping through the breeding federation and so that's why I have a good picture of the aims of the trappers/hunters. 1 egg of the Blue Rock trush LM25, a young bird LM40-LM50 with cage - it is an illegal act, but who will ever catch the abuser, so he will risk(not much risk actually!) and go again and again - when the cat is away (no cat in this case) the mice will play.
I thought we'd already visited this - you don't need to be a licenced hunter/trapper to do this, maybe just a bird breeder? People will always be attracted to objects that are hard to obtain, they give them more pleasure. It's human nature and that is not what we are discussing here.
MWP admin wrote: However, no body is focusing the true argument of this post - Law enforcement. It is so bad that we got an official warning from EU since they sent their experts to evaluate the situation in Malta, and probably did a better job from ALE! So can't you realize that something must be done to help ALE and environment officers to enforce this law (good or bad is not the point) The few officers cannot monitor the whole territory in Malta, hence my idea to involve the public.

Without disputing if its good or not, if the law bans trapping in Spring, would it be a good idea that the public have this sort of incentive to help nature and report abusers? It is the same as the free-phone for over-producing of vehicle exhaust.
I agree with the gist of what you are saying, but the financial compensation thing can not be accepted. That is why it is NOT the same as "the free-phone for over-producing of vehicle exhaust.".

Aside, what free-phone? I always got charged 2c for SMS's I sent to 50611899.
MWP admin wrote: Now two members voted that this is not a good idea, and so I would like to know why? Why would this not help to enforce the law? Can you explain please?
I can't help. I did not vote, since the poll question does not permit me any expression. I think that my arguments have been perfectly expounded previously.

Good day! :-D :-D :-D

RB

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Post by MWP admin » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:27 pm

Well, we have different visions over trapping/hunting.

I think you are out of reality when you think that the hunter dont sell the birds for stuffing (after having one of that species for every member of the family of course) and that trappers do not sell the surplus of game caught ( after having some 3-4 dozens of birds in the trabokki at home/garage). Just go to Monti Sunday morning as one example.

I thought the vrt thing was free like the euroline 154.

Finally we agreed upon the need of law enforcmenet for all ILLEGAL trapping in Spring. In my opinion, education is out of question in Malta, until there is personal profit invovlved. Hunters/trappers take their teen children, and the cycle goes over one generation to another. Did the number of trappers/hunters increased in the last 20 years despite the educational promotion?

Ideally I prefer education on its own, but experience told us that i did not really work much on this type of society. Also rumours of hunters/trappers is that the young ones are spoiling the whole thing as they shoot on everything moving? (where is education then?) As I mentioned before, it is almost alwas youths who trap robins in Autumn (where is education?)

I ocassionally discuss with trappers in as a courtesy tactic to pass through or explore around and they seem to have this opinion. Recentely(?) many of them are nice and let you work. I had one or two sour experiences namely that in Wied Znuber when I was mal-treated and threatened while exploring the area for the protected and endemic Linaria pseudolaxiflora.

Anyway, we are different people with different minds, but it had become an interesting topic. Looking forward to see the opinions of the others too (Wolf?)


Cya
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Post by RB » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:16 pm

MWP admin wrote: I think you are out of reality when you think that the hunter dont sell the birds for stuffing (after having one of that species for every member of the family of course) and that trappers do not sell the surplus of game caught ( after having some 3-4 dozens of birds in the trabokki at home/garage). Just go to Monti Sunday morning as one example.
Very far from it. I was going to write almost what you said above, practically to the letter - just to make myself clear.

But your insistence was not simply that they sell any surplus if available - but that the whole point of the exercise is the money, i.e. that it makes financial sense to trap/hunt. The selling of any surplus would go only a very small way towards making up for the actual total cost of the hobby, opportunity cost also included.

Hope that is clearer now...

Aside, are wild-caught birds still sold at the Monti? I thought that was cleared up a LONG time ago.

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Post by MWP admin » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:58 pm

Ok, yes I also reckon that they do it first (or second for some) for pleasure then for money, but both aspects go hand in hand to make this 'sports' very strong and popular and hence one can take the stand of "the I dont care of law" and "I dont care of education" attitude. Hence comes in play Law enforcement!


I check if they sell "Vrieden", "taz-Zebbug" and "Gojjini" as those what I hear my dad speaking on the phone with his friends.
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Post by MWP admin » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:54 pm

Related to what we have been discussing:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/vi ... of-hunting
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