Hunting, including trapping (or the catching of wild birds by means of traditional clap-nets for the purpose of keeping the any caught birds alive in captivity), is allowed on about 160 Sq. Km. Of the Maltese islands and, with about 12,000 shooters and 4,000 trappers, the resulting density (some 80 sportsmen per square kilometer of huntable land) is considerable, but then Malta is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Maltese hunters and trappers thus form an important part of the economic, social, cultural and political life of the islands, and any hunter/trapper thus expects to exercise his legal right to practice hunting and trapping in the traditional manner, so long as he is fully aware that his harvesting does not constitute any threat to any particular species.
Maltese hunters utilise the basic principals of hunting (and with the word hunt we always assume included the other local traditional form of hunting which is trapping) which is the method of wise use of renewable natural resources and adapt European and International standards to the unique situation prevailingin the Maltese Islands. Unique, since the Maltese bag depends solely on migratory birds, there being no resident species. By such methods one can identify those species that can withstand harvesting, even the limited bag of Maltese hunters and trappers in Spring and regulate accordingly.