Consultation starts on plan to remove fish from Norfolk Broad

The Environment Agency is consulting on a Natural England permit to place fish barriers across the entrances to Hoveton...

The Environment Agency is consulting on a Natural England permit to place fish barriers across the entrances to Hoveton Great Broad. - Credit: Archant

The public is being asked to have their say on controversial plans to remove fish from Hoveton Great Broad as part of a habitat restoration project.

The Natural England-led project proposes removing the majority of fish from the broad, a technique known as biomanipulation, which will allow water fleas to thrive feeding on algae and naturally clean the water.

Concerns have been raised over spawning of bream in Great Hoveton Broad. Picture: Adrian Judd

A petition was launched by Broads Angling Services Group, supported by the Angling Trust, against planned fish barriers at the entrance to Hoveton Great Broad.

The plan has sparked controversy among the Norfolk angling community, which says it poses an “extremely serious threat to fish stocks”.

The barriers at the entrance to Hoveton Great Broad and Hudson’s Bay would be in place for up to 10 years, preventing fish from entering while the ecology recovers.

Aerial image looking toward Wroxham and Hoveton Great Broad.

Aerial image looking toward Wroxham and Hoveton Great Broad. - Credit: Mike Page

The Environment Agency has launched a public consultation until April 6 on Natural England’s application to place the fish-proof barriers. People can comment online or by emailing Enquiries_EastAnglia@environment-agency.gov.uk

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: "We are keen to hear from anyone who wants to have their say on this proposal before we make our decision."