The Gozo Ministry, 27 March 2023, the Honourable Minister Clint Camilleri received proposals submitted by a delegation of the Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta (FKNK) in order to apply derogations to permit the traditional hunting of turtle dove and quail in April 2023, as well as to carry out research regarding the migration of turtle doves by the traditional means of turtle doves clap-nets’ live-capturing (trapping) during the same period.
These proposals were listed in detail in a document submitted by the delegation, which evidence the positive results regarding the sustainability of turtle dove hunting in Malta. These emerged from the surveys that the FKNK organized, with the voluntary help of a number of members, during the turtle dove hunting seasons in September 2021 and in that of 2022, as well as through the scientific study that the FKNK, once again with the voluntary involvement of some members, undertook during the turtle dove hunting season in April 2022. In the same document the successes achieved through the FKNK Turtle Dove Project are also detailed, not just in relation to the possibility of adding Bulgaria and Kosovo to the so-called "reference population countries", but that the Project achieved one of its main objectives as a result of the amount of released turtle doves into the wild over the years, that have served the Project’s "compensatory measure" purpose.
These proposals will next be presented at the forthcoming Malta Ornis Committee meeting for its consideration and recommendations.
During the meeting, both sides also discussed the "Letter of Opinion" that the European Commission (EC) sent to Malta regarding the opening of turtle dove hunting season in April 2022, and the Case that the same EC filed against Malta in the European Court in relation to the finches’ research programme. On these two actions of the Commission, the FKNK delegation submitted two other related documents for the Minister's consideration, with detailed data and facts that the FKNK collected and documented in order to assist the Government in both cases.
Other items that were discussed during the meeting included the several problems that many FKNK trapper members encountered during last autumn's research and trapping seasons in connection with incorrectly plotted coordinates of trapping stations; police relationships; and taxidermy. The two sides agreed to work towards the best way forward in these challenges and finally the FKNK again pledged all its available resources for the best possible outcome for one and all.