Action on Cormorants
IMPORTANT: Announcement on cormorants expected soon but we need YOUR help first!On behalf of Britain's anglers the Angling Trust has been campaigning for three years to persuade the Government to take action on unsustainable cormorant and goosander predation. We are now making real progress and expect an important announcement in late 2012.
But before then we need YOU to act NOW and help us in what could be the most important stage in this battle to get the much needed change in the licensing law, enabling the protection of your fish and fishing.
You may be one of the thousands of anglers who have used cormorantwatch.org, signed the Avon Roach Project petition, have written to us or completed one of our cormorant surveys but now we need all anglers to back this up and do at least one of the following...
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW TO HELPEasy & helpful
- Find out who your MP is at www.theyworkforyou.com and send an email stating that you support the Angling Trust campaign to get cormorants added to the General Licence to protect fish stocks. You might want to use our letter template which you can download HERE (template for emails to MPs.doc). Please feel free to add to, or amend the text as you see fit - we have just provided some words to save you time
- Pick up a postcard from tackle shops and fisheries which are taking part in our campaign, put a stamp on it, and send it to your MP. If your shop or fishery doesn't have any postcards, please ask them to contact us on Facebook, by calling 0844 77 00 616 (Option 1) or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send them a bundle
- Send an e-mail to email@example.com stating that you support the Angling Trust campaign to get cormorants added to the General Licence to protect fish stocks. You might want to use our email template which you can download HERE (template for emails to Defra.doc). Please feel free to add to, or amend the text as you see fit - we have just provided some words to save you time
- Write a letter to Richard Benyon MP, Minister for Fisheries and the Natural Environment at the postal address below stating that you support the Angling Trust campaign to get cormorants added to the General Licence to protect fish stocks. You might want to use our letter template which you can download HERE (template for letters to Richard Benyon MP.doc). Please feel free to add to, or amend the text as you see fit - we have just provided some words to save you time
- Send in pictures of cormorant or goosander damage to fish, trees and other wildlife to demonstrate the problems caused by the increase in the numbers of these predatory birds. We know it won't be pretty but the public needs to see the damage that they cause. Please let us know that we have permission to publish the images in the image gallery on our website HERE and elsewhere. We may also need to share these image with other people such as our press contacts. Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Find out who your MP is at www.theyworkforyou.com and post a letter to them using the template which you can download HERE (template for letters to MPs.doc). Please feel free to add to, or amend the text as you see fit - we have just provided some words to save you time
- Contact your MP's office and ask for an appointment to go and meet him or her to raise the issue in person. If you represent a local club, tackle shop or fishery, please make sure you mention this when you meet your MP
- Find out who your MP is at www.theyworkforyou.com then organise a vote at your angling club, consultative or fishing match to find out who supports the Angling Trust's campaign to get cormorants added to the open licence and take a record of the names of the members and send this to your MP
- Send a press release out to your local newspaper, radio station and any local news web sites saying that your club/fishery/tackle shop supports our campaign.
- Make a donation to our Cormorant Fighting Fund to cover our campaign work and the cost of producing and posting Cormorant Postcards. You can donate on this website HERE or make a cheque payable to "Angling Trust" and return it to the address at the foot of this web page
Please let us know what you have done on our Facebook page here: facebook.com/AnglingTrust
If you are a club, fishery or tackle shop and you support this campaign, please email us at email@example.com and we’ll add your name to the list of supporters on our web site and Facebook page.
Watch the Action on Cormorants video by award winning wildlife filmaker and RSPB member Hugh Miles below
BACKGROUND TO THIS CAMPAIGN
The Angling Trust and the Avon Roach Project have been campaigning for more than 2 years for the Government to take action to protect stillwater and river fisheries from excessive cormorant and goosander predation and reform the current woefully inadequate, broken and bureaucratic licensing regime for the control of these fish-eating birds.
More than 75,000 sightings have been recorded by anglers on our cormorantwatch.org web site and a 16,000 signature petition has been handed to Government. The Trust has attended 10 meetings of a cormorant review group formed by Defra at our request, comprising the Angling Trust, Defra, Natural England, the Environment Agency and RSPB. This group will be producing recommendations to Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP in July, and an announcement of a policy change is expected in November.
The Angling Trust and Avon Roach Project have called for adding cormorants and goosanders to the General Licence, which would allow the legal right to protect our threatened fish populations and remove the expense and bureaucracy involved in applying for licences by fishery owners. We have put together a coalition of organisations which support this position: Angling Trust, Angling Trades Association, Atlantic Salmon Trust, Avon Roach Project, British Association of Shooting and Conservation, Countryside Alliance, Predation Action Group, Salmon & Trout Association, and The Rivers Trust. Read the joint statement HERE.
There will be substantial opposition to putting cormorants on the General Licence, not least from the RSPB. If the Minister is going to take this decision, he needs to know that it has widespread support. We have already had great support from politicians on all sides, but we now need every angler to make their voice heard in support of this proposal.
We are not aiming to get rid of all cormorants, or even calling for a cull. We are simply demanding the legal right to protect our fish stocks. The Angling Trust will take a lead on co-ordinating action in catchments throughout the country, and advising our members about how to control birds responsibly, and on non-lethal techniques where necessary
Cormorants - Key Facts:
- Biodiversity of our rivers and many still waters are at serious risk from excessive predation from cormorants
- Numbers have exploded in the last two decades to unsustainable levels
- Rivers and waterways are failing under the Water Framework Directive and of those failing over 50% do so due to poor fish stocks
- Waters that have been heavily impacted by cormorants take years to recover under the present system - sometimes failing all together
- Populations of indigenous species like roach on the Hampshire Avon are under serious threat of extinction
- Modification of our rivers by man has resulted in salmon and sea trout being increasingly vulnerable to cormorants and goosanders as they try to migrate to sea through weirs and hydropower plants
- Direct threat to designated endangered fish species protected under European legislation
- Over wintering cormorants estimated at 23,000. Each individual eats at least one pound of fish EVERY DAY (2,760,000lb of fish each winter)
- Numbers increased by non-native immigrants (European sub-species Carbo Sinensis) from mainland Europe
- The present licensing system is woefully inadequate and does not give us the capabilities to protect our fish properly
- The Eel Management Plans submitted and accepted by the European Commission estimate that between 29 & 43 tons of endangered eel are eaten by cormorants every year in England and Wales.
- The government's Moran Committee acknowledged the damage that cormorants can do to inland fisheries
Avon Roach Project
Ruddy FDuck cull
BBC 1 News on the 16,000 signature petition
List of Birds on the General Licence:
Crow Corvus corone
Dove, Collared Streptopelia decaocto
Gull, Lesser Black-backed Larus fuscus
Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Jay Garrulus glandarius
Magpie Pica pica
Pigeon, Feral Columba livia
Rook Corvus frugilegus
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
Goose, Canada Branta canadensis
Parakeet, Monk Myiopsitta monachus
Parakeet, Ring-necked Psittacula
List of Supporters:
List of MPs supporting the campaign:
If your MP is not on this list,
please write to him orher asking why not
email firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name
to the list of supporters above