Bird predation up for debate

There is positive news from the Angling Trust this week from its chief executive Mark Lloyd who intends to raise the subject of bird predation of fish with the government.

Lloyd believes that procedures to apply for cormorants control licences 'are ridiculous and extremely over complicated'.

He said: 'Angling clubs tend to be run by volunteers who just do not have the time to apply because providing evidence of stock damage, for example, can take weeks.

'With the problem of predatory birds affecting fisheries steadily getting worse something needs to be done, and with the government looking to cut red tape and help rural communities it is the right time to act.'

That said, the Trust is now urging minister Richard Benyon to make it easier for fishery owners and angling clubs to obtain permits to cull all predatory birds including cormorants, fooseander, murganer and possibly great crested grebes that are said to devour many thousands of small fish per annum.

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Fortunately, none of this seems to relate to the Norfolk Broads waters where a healthy balance exists between predator and prey and the only troublesome pest is the alien mink.

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