From The Malta Independent November 17, 2001
Conserving our natural habitat
Mr Cutajar (TMID, 14 November) ends his letter by stating that we should "conserve our natural habitat, even with its
limitations, so as to retain diversity in its widest possible sense and harvest its goods within the parameters of sustainability".
I applaud this sentiment. What I cannot understand, however, is how in the rest of his letter he can then defend the bird-killing
The extermination of many of our own Maltese breeding species has happened largely because the number
of bird shooters is far beyond any definition of 'sustainability'. Sustainable bird shooting practices would have resulted
in a drastically reduced number of bird shooters, and prohibited bird shooting during the breeding season to allow local populations
to recover (Malta is the only European country to allow this). The slaughter of birds also plays a major part in eliminating
'diversity' in our local ecosystem. I would rather see the peregrine falcons breeding again at Ta' Cenc Cliffs than seeing
them only on the 'The Maltese Falcon' T-shirts sold at the monti (market).
It will take more than a few thousand
liri paid in gun license fees to the Maltese state to repair the damage to our diversity, sustainability and our negative
image in the eyes of the world.
Dr Carmelo Aquilina
Brighton - UK