A few scattered nets along the coast have metastasized into a nearly impenetrable wall of traps, stretching almost without break from the Gaza strip in the east to the Libyan border in the west. Conservative estimates set the annual death toll of migratory birds in this area at 10 million, but others say it is probably an order of magnitude more.
In some areas, especially near Libya, the birds are caught for subsistence, by people who currently have no other way to feed themselves, but the vast majority, perhaps eighty percent of the birds trapped, are sold in markets as a pricey delicacy or hocked to high-end restaurants in Cairo for up to five euros for each slight songbird.
May 19, 2013
"Since the time of the pharaohs, Egyptians have raised nets every autumn along the Mediterranean, to capture golden orioles, nightingales and corncrakes..."
"... as they wing their way south for the winter. It's an ancient tradition, but in recent years the custom has gotten out of hand."