SQUAWK TO Save Millions Of Birds Being Trapped In 700 Miles Of Nets Stretching Along The Entire Coast Of Egypt
SQUAWK AND DON’T STOP SQUAWKING – Help save tiny birds on Egypt’s coast
Terrible news has emerged from the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. Bavarian Broadcasting are reporting a total of 700 kilometres of nets set to catch birds. The birds are then offered as a delicacy in markets and restaurants across Egypt.
The nets which stretch for 700 kilometres from the Libyan border almost to Gaza are very difficult to avoid for many migratory birds as they form a barrier across their flight path either across the Mediterranean or the Sahara when they are looking for a place to rest. The exact number of birds caught in this way can only be estimated, but experts believe that tens of millions are killed each year.
One can see from the photo of the proximity of the nets to the beach that this is especially deadly for shorebirds.
That songbirds are on the menu (and targeted by many hunters) in many countries of southern Europe and North Africa is nothing new. The existence of fishing nets on the coast of Egypt has long been known, but what is new is the scale of netting, which now extends from Libya across almost the entire coastline of the Egypt to the Sinai – interrupted only in a few places by military installations or major cities.
Catching birds in Egypt threatens European populations
This form of bird trapping is mostly illegal in Egypt; there are statutory requirements for minimum distances between the nets and maximum stipulated heights but these are largely ignored. Egypt has also signed international agreements on the protection of birds, but the resulting rules are not enforced at all.
Lars Lachmann, bird expert of NABU (NATURE AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION UNION, one of the oldest and largest environment associations in Germany.) states that the implications of bird trapping in Egypt to the European breeding population are not good: “The majority of our species are suffering from habitat loss and climate change; species such as willow warbler, nightingale, wheatear and nightjar will be adversely affected by the massive catch in Egypt.”
Update: There is an additional story about the ruthless harvest of tiny song birds at National Geographic here…