PROTECTED: The grey shearwater is classed as ‘near-threatened’

A GROUP of 10 people have each been fined €8,600 for making a stew out of protected birds on a beach.

A well-known businessman is among the hunting clan, caught after Guardia Civil agents smelt the stewing meat from a cliff.

One hunter even ‘had the spoon in his hand’, a court heard as the maximum fines for hunting and cooking protected birds were issued.

SNIFFED OUT: Guardia Civil smelt the meat cooking from a nearby cliff

The 10 men were convicted of killing grey shearwaters in Lanzarote in 2015, while the ‘near-threatened’ birds were in nesting season.

The group’s lawyers claimed the meat was lamb, but judges said that defence was ‘not at all credible’, as officers had run DNA tests on the illegal meal.

A further nine men were acquitted from the case, as it could not be proved that they were involved in the hunting or cooking of the birds, known in Spain as ‘pardela’.

APPROACH: Officers caught the beach-goers red-handed, although nine men have now been acquitted

Guardia Civil officers who docked on the islet of Alegranza, where the incident happened said the men had set up a tent, a portable kitchen and a table.

Cops snapped pictures of the empty nests of the birds, while noting that one of the defendants had ‘nodded in shame’ in shame when asked if he was eating pardela.

There has been a ban on hunting and eating the birds since 1986.

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