Thursday, 31 October 2019

Cormorants on the General Licence

We have probably our last chance to finally get the cormorant added to the Wild Birds General Licence, something the Avon Roach Project called for and have since campaigned for in partnership with the Angling Trust, for nearly eight years. There is to be a review, following an online public consultation which we are asking everyone to participate in.
The huge over-wintering number of European cormorants here in the UK is one of the greatest conflicts our inland fish populations face and we believe we all have a duty to take this opportunity to influence the outcome of the consultation which is open until 5th December 2019.
We (ARP and AT) have issued a joint statement and press release with links to the survey, plus a set of guidance notes to help everyone. There are also links to an Avon Roach Project evidence-based challenge document to the current policy including history, facts and recommendations (on the Cormorant section of this site) – and to an Angling Trust ‘Impact of Cormorants’ document.
All links are below:-
We mustn’t let angling apathy allow this opportunity to be lost, so please participate and encourage others to do so. This is not simply something we can assume ‘all the others’ will do. We ask that everyone does their bit. Not participating surely removes the right to bitch about it or even comment on the conflict.
Budgie and I have invested a huge amount of effort over the past decade and more and now ask for your help to preserve what we have achieved, and to help enable a more adequate level of protection of all our vulnerable inland fish populations in this country.
Thanking you in anticipation.

Trev and Budgie

Joint ARP and AT Statement PDF link:-

Public Consultation link:-

ARP Evidence-Based Challenge to the current Fish-Eating Birds Policy link:-

I made a short film with Hugh Miles a few years ago outlining the cormorant issue in this country and all the facts within it are still relevant to the current situation, so we have included the link here.

Cormorants vs Roach

Mainly made up of the European sub-species Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, this over-wintering visitor is one of the greatest threats to our inland fish populations in the UK.

This is one of three flocks photographed passing over in the space of a few minutes one winter morning before most of us are up and about.

The size of fish they can handle is quite unbelievable.

And the big pike is gone within a minute.

Nothing is safe from them. Barbel anglers seem to be focussing all blame on another predator for the barbel decline.

Even fish too large for the cormorant sustain gruesome damage which ultimately leads to their death. Here a barbel is the unfortunate wasted victim.

In 2012 we delivered a petition of 17,000 signatures to Minister at the time, Richard Benyon, who was very supportive and said he wanted to do something significant. Unfortunately, as we all know, cabinet changes within government are unpredictable and his replacement was far less sympathetic.
We all now have the opportunity to influence the forthcoming policy review by taking part in the online public consultation survey, so please take a few moments to do so.



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