Putting an end to spring hunting would help make Delimara a place where Maltese people could enjoy the sight of arriving birds, Spring Hunting Out (Shout) campaign spokesman Mark Sultana said this morning.

Speaking to the media in Xrobb l-Ghagin, Mr Sultana said this would also help promote the idea of transforming the area into a national park for the people of Malta.

The idea, he said, was first proposed in 1997 and in July 2013, Marsaxlokk mayor Edric Micallef called on the government to take it on board.

The area, he said, was the arrival point for many tired and exhausted birds flying across the sea from Africa on their way to breed.

Mr Sultana said that on a particular day in October a huge flock of more than 100 grey herons were photographed resting in Delimara.

If spring hunting was banned, birds could rest safely there on their way to mainland Europe to breed.

Unfortunately, the area also had one of the highest densities of hunters.

Volunteers, he said, reported instances of widespread illegal hunting in the area over the years. Giving an example, he said there were 215 incidents over a span of 20 days in April 2013.

Research also showed that it was easier for hunters to commit illegalities if the season was open.

Mr Sultana said that stopping spring hunting would be a major step in ensuring that the publicly owned land in Delimara could become a recreational area for peaceful enjoyment instead of an area that was infested with hunters who mostly had no regard for the law.

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