Two men have been caught on video trying to catch a protected bird inside Sliema creek, Lovin Malta can reveal.
The bird, the person who sent the video explained, is a regular visitor to the harbour. However, that morning two men hopped onto a boat and pursued the bird for several minutes. They try approaching the bird silently with a net in hand numerous times.
The person screamed at the two men, who then sped off before docking in Gzira.
Police told Lovin Malta they have not received a report when asked whether they will be looking into the illegalities caught on tape
The video was taken in the early hours on Tuesday morning, before the closure of the spring hunting season, which only allows the hunting of quail.
This year’s spring hunting season opened to controversy, with conservationists warning that enforcement would be negligible while police officers focus on overseeing COVID-19 measures.
In just over 20 days, 44 protected birds were shot. The birds varied from bird of prey species such as Common Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Honey-buzzard and Black Kite to Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Common Swift, Golden Oriole, Nightjar, and Stone Curlew.
Thousands of turtle dove were allegedly shot at as well.
The issue is turning legal, with Birdlife Malta filing a court action claiming that Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri had no legal remit to issue spring hunting licenses.
Birdlife’s previous attempts to get all 6,000 hunting licences rescinded was shot down by the courts.
There are more tensions brewing over the government’s plans to grant large swathes of green public land over to hunters.