Go ahead for cormorant management

Government gives go ahead for new cormorant and goosander management plan

We've been campaigning for more than three years for a change to the current bureaucratic and ineffective licensing regime that governs the control of cormorants and goosanders and have now concluded negotiations with the Government on the implementation of new measures, announced last year, to improve the protection of vulnerable fish stocks from predation by cormorants and goosanders.

We are very grateful to everybody who supported us with donations and by sending postcards to their MP. The success we've achieved would not have been possible without this support.

The new measures will include:

• The funding of three Fisheries Management Advisors (FMAs), to be employed by the Angling Trust from April 2014, to help angling clubs and fishery owners reduce predation, to coordinate applications for licences across catchments and to gather better evidence about the number of birds in each catchment. (Details of these posts and how to apply are available on the Angling Trust website at www.anglingtrust.net/jobs

• A commitment by the government to review the existing national limit on the number of cormorants that can be shot each year in light of evidence gathered by the FMAs from each catchment in 2014 and 2015;

• A simplification of the licence application form to make it easier for fishery managers to apply to control cormorants and goosanders;

• A removal of monthly limits within an annual licence;

• Extension of the control season to May at times of low flow when salmon and sea trout smolt migrations are particularly vulnerable;

• Agreement to increase the national limit for cormorant controls to the emergency level of 3,000 (from 2,000 last year) in 2014/5 if the need can be demonstrated.

If you are not already an Angling Trust member, or know somebody who might join because of this breakthrough in protecting the UK's fish stocks please encourage them to join on our website by forwarding them this email. Membership is available for just £2.50 a month.

Read the full news item on our site here.