Monday 7 July 2014


The next stage in the cormorant issue is underway with the introduction of three Fisheries Management Advisors (FMA’s), employed by the Angling Trust and funded by anglers’ Rod Licence revenue, together with a new area licence allowing and encouraging greater flexibility for fisheries being able to work together for greater effect.
They are in place for a twelve month period, after which the effectiveness of the policy change will be assessed by Defra, the Angling Trust and others involved in this issue. We expect to be included in this.
Ministers have confirmed that if, after this trial period, monitoring of the combined need for lethal control exceeds the current national limit of 2,000 cormorants (and up to 3,000 for short periods), the limit will be reviewed.
The FMA’s are working hard up and down the country, and are in no doubt about the scale of the task ahead of them.
They will need everyone to get involved and take part. They will need a high level of uptake and energy; and the early signs are good, with a great reception so far. This needs to continue.
As is often the case with anything like this, those who have been at the hub of it for so long need to show a deal of stamina, and we think we have done just that, in bucket-loads. This now also applies to those who have simply sat and watched and waited. It’s easy to get tired and weary of what seems to be yet another hurdle to overcome, but the fact is, unless we in angling all get our fingers out of our arses and wake up and start working together for the common good, our sport is destined for suicide by apathy.
Two of the FMA’s came and presented at our local Wessex forum and I (the Trevor half of the ARP partnership) was asked to give a ten minute talk on the background to the campaign, how we have reached this stage and an introduction to them. I didn’t leave anyone in any doubt about the seriousness of the situation and the burden of responsibility that rests on all our shoulders.
In fact, ears were pricked; eyes opened and attentions grabbed with hard facts and subtle poignancy.
It was suggested afterwards that it would be an advantage if I could deliver the same introduction at all the forums around the country just ahead of the FMA’s presentation. This, of course, would be out of the question due to Avon Roach Project duties.
Two options were to either have what I said written and read out ahead of the FMA’s, or make a little film of it.
Well, would you believe it? Great mate and ARP supporter from day one, Hugh Miles offered to make the film with us.

It's not as easy as it looks...

Talking’s done... Now off to make it interesting and spool through
the outtakes – yes, there were a few...

The link to the film is below.

A few weeks after their presentation at the local forum, the two FMA’s, Richard Bamforth and Jake Davoile, came and visited us here at Project HQ, then on to our stews at Bickton, and we were delighted at their enthusiasm and energy. They deserve everyone’s support; and indeed need everyone’s support, as without it they will be unable to deliver what we all need them to.
Details of these guys can be found on the Angling Trust web site
Please, give your support. Encourage the application for cormorant licenses on all fisheries with a problem through your clubs, syndicates, river keepers and land owners, and encourage as many as possible to take part in what may be the last chance we get to make the difference we have all been bellyaching about for so long.
If a fishery has a problem with cormorant predation but there has been no licence application then the assumption will be that there is, in fact, NOT a problem.
Doing nothing is no longer an option.
I mention in the film, our ‘Biodiversity in Danger’ document and that it can be found on our web site, so for convenience we have duplicated this copy on our CORMORANTS section of the main web site and dropped the ‘Biodiversity in Danger’ document below it.
The link to our CORMORANTS section of our main site is below:-

The link to the film is below:-