Cormorants impacting on UK fish stocks
Cormorants are having a direct and indirect impact on fish stocks in the UK
As numbers of cormorant seabirds continue to rise, The Angling Trust, the representative body for game, coarse and sea anglers in England, has urged the UK government to review the current licensing system for controlling numbers of the bird, which it says are damaging fish stocks.
The Angling Trust has highlighted two European reports, carried out by the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, which reveal that numbers of cormorants across Europe are their highest for 150 years.
Mark Lloyd, chief executive, Angling Trust, said: "These two reports are highly significant as they clarify beyond argument that the EU Birds Directive, which provides information to support any moves by the UK government, is no barrier to allowing member states to take the necessary action, including shooting, to protect fisheries from unsustainable predation by cormorants whose numbers have exploded in recent decades.”
He added: “Without healthy fish populations in our rivers, streams and lakes, many other types of wildlife will suffer and we will lose the huge benefits of angling to the economy and society. Cormorant numbers are doing untold damage to our fish and fishing. We urge the Minister to act as soon as possible now that the review has concluded."