News has emerged about migratory shorebirds being trapped for the meat industry in China. Apparently this illegal trapping is done by using mist nets and there are reports of the practice being on the increase. Conservationists have reported such activities to the Chinese Authorities but no action has resulted. A call is now being made , via a petition to the Government of the Peoples' Republic in China, for such activities to be brought to an end. This can be signed by following the link below,
End illegal shorebird trapping in China.
Whilst the promoted concern relates to Spoon-billed Sandpiper, no figures or data are presented to back up the claim and, therefore, the activity must be viewed as a potential threat to this endangered species as opposed to an activity which is currently decimating its numbers! With only around 100 known breeding pairs in the world there is clearly a justification for eliminating any activity which poses a threat, either now or in the future. Perhaps these activities need to be viewed in the wider context of the threat they pose to any species of shorebird. With various coastal habitats having been lost in south east Asia, focussed activities that are concentrated on sites remaining which shorebirds utilise are of major concern. Having seen the intensity of the inshore fishing activity in the coastal waters through which one passes to visit Happy Island I have no doubt as to the efficiency with which the current shorebird trapping enterprises will be carried out and, therefore, their potential effects!!.
Given the UK's initiatives linked to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper I would urge everyone to sign the above petition, not least to offer some protection in future to the many species of shorebirds which pass along China's coastline.
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