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Not much sympathy for anglers in this Independent article today especially the letters comments!
Mike
Anglers urging government to allow shooting of more cormorants to stop birds eating fish they catch for sport
Exclusive: Move comes despite failure to reach allocated quota of 3,000 in past two years

Tom Embury-Dennis

Anglers are urging the government to allow them free rein to shoot cormorants, in a bid to stop the birds eating fish they catch for sport.

The UK's biggest angling organisation said it was encouraging members to kill more cormorants as a way to pressure the environment department (Defra) into increasing an annual cap on the number that can be shot dead.

It comes despite a failure to reach the quota of 3,000 in each of the past two years. In 2016/17, angling clubs and fisheries fell just short of their annual allocation, and last year the figure was as low as 2400.
"The Angling Trust is urging angling clubs and fisheries to submit more licence applications over the coming winter to ensure that the maximum number of birds are controlled," the trust said in a statement.

"Government ministers have made it clear that they won't consider raising the current 3,000 cap on the number of birds that can be shot until we can demonstrate that demand for licences is outstripping this figure."
Despite cormorant numbers in the UK remaining steady over the past decade, the trust wants them placed on the general shooting licence alongside birds such as magpies and crows, which would mean no limit on the numbers that could be killed. It was "continuing to make the case" to civil servants at Defra, the statement added.

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust, said the organisation was doing "all we can to protect fish and fishing from the rising numbers of cormorants and goosanders on our rivers and lakes".

Despite "substantial political resistance", he said the angling community needed to submit a "large quantity" of applications to kill cormorants and keep them at "sustainable levels".

But animal rights activists branded the move "pure poppycock", and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said there was no proof that killing was more effective than scaring cormorants, a large waterbird known for its ability to swim underwater for minutes at a time.

"Gunning down cormorants to 'protect' fish so that anglers can kill them instead - and often for fun, not food - is pure poppycock," said Elisa Allen, director of Peta UK.

She added: "Anglers are already responsible for the debilitating injuries that millions of birds and other animals sustain after swallowing hooks or becoming entangled in fishing line, and this move just adds to their kill count."

Gareth Cunningham, RSPB senior policy officer, told The Independent instead of shooting birds, anglers must find ways to live alongside them.
"We do not believe the Angling Trust's call to kill thousands of cormorants is justified. Evidence shows that poor water quality and temperature are the main factors affecting the number of fish," he said.

"In fact, there is no proof that killing is more effective at reducing the presence of cormorants than simply scaring them."

Mr Cunningham said an effective alternative to killing the birds would be to provide underwater refuges for fish, which, according to a Defra-led review in 2013, can reduce the number eaten by cormorants by up to two-thirds.

But Mark Owen, freshwater manager at the Angling Trust, hit back, citing research earlier this year suggesting a correlation between increased cormorant numbers and a decline on fish stocks in Denmark.

Mr Owen insisted the birds do "significant damage" to fish stocks, with licence applications to shoot them requiring fisheries to provide proof fish numbers are being put under strain.

He insisted the cap on killing cormorants was not reached over the last two years because the Defra application form was little-known and difficult to fill out.

"The RSPB accepts the case for predator control when it suits them and have shot or trapped over 1000 crows over the last two years in order to protect curlews on their reserves," he added. "Conservation principles apply as much to fish as they do to birds and it's hypocritical to suggest otherwise."

COMMENTS

Shooting birds is an affront to common decency ! The birds are entitled to live, just like any other creature .
It used to be, that pigeon -fanciers wanted to cull peregrine-falcons, because the bird men believed that the falcons were predating on their birds ! So what ! Predation is part of the natural world, and man can't go around shooting everything,
that's percieved to be altering the points system affecting the Club's annual -gong !
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Codie
1 hour ago
The RSPB now shoot predators on specific reserves, so being a bit hypocritical
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lliamnonates
1 hour ago
Definition of an angler, a rod with a worm on one end , and a fool on the other.
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Codie
1 hour ago
Wow the British public know so little about wildlife and their environment and even less about Angling
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BobToo
47 minutes ago
What do you need to know?
Killing a creature doing nothing other than its natural instinct to survive in order to allowing a sport to continue for nothing more than personal enjoyment is justified in the eyes of an extreme minority!
Enjoy your finishing, no issue with that. Killing another creature to ensure your fun continues I do have issue with. And I'm sure many more people will find this unacceptable too.
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Bronks
1 hour ago
Given that the Cormarant is a costal bird that's drivin inland due to over fishing for seafood markets.... it seems a bit unfair that there are so many anti angler comments from people who most likely consume the fish that has driven the species in land.

Maybe don't shoot Angler's or birds but instead do something about industrial fish harvesting that will empty oceans in 20 years.
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barbus
2 hours ago
It is amazing how ignorant non anglers are about fishing,people who have never fished yet are expert at telling anglers they kill fish. Why would an angler kill the fish he has paid for. As for birds strung up on discarded tackle ,i have only seen one in 45 years. If it were not for angling clubs your riverside walks would be unkept and overgrown as it is the angling clubs who look after the banksides that you non anglers enjoy when watching the flaura and fauna. It does not cost you a penny yet the angler pays his angling subscriptions and his Environment licence. Tell me what do you pay to upkeep the rivers and bankside.
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Herr E Legs
2 hours ago
Maggot danglers and worm wigglers leave bivvie in search of a Shag
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an
3 hours ago
so these blood sport enthusiasts want to kill birds just to stop them eating fish that they (the anglers) want to kill for fun?
Its better to drown the anglers, then the animals suffer much less.
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Codie
1 hour ago
I have fished for 60+ years and like all Coarse Anglers have never killed a fish but I have spent hundreds of hours making lakes and rivers wildlife havens, what have you done for wildlife
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meic
3 hours ago
Cormorants Yes, anglers No ( unless fishing for food)
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Natpad
3 hours ago
What a fascinating sight watching a cormorant fishing or drying its wings on the bank.
Anglers look so out of place and ugly. They certainly do not adorn the banks of any water body.
 

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Thanks for sharing this........It is strange that predators of birds on Orkney can have huge amounts of money thrown away to try to eradicate same and yet very little done to protect our wild salmon stocks from destruction.
Something very wrong:help:
 

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We now have a case of the tail(RSPB) wagging the dog ( the government) the rspb have became to big and powerful that the government are scarred to upset them. If they want to cull some animal or even a bird they will get their own way but if it is anyone else who wants to do it the tree huggers circle the wagons and shout poor birds and put a stop to it.
We will see what happens when there is not enough fish left to feed all these birds and the poor b*****ds are starving to death.
 

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Scumbags

Ive done some dodgy things in my time but what i have never done is shoot or take down with dogs anything that wasnt to be eaten-like birds and seals/otters etc..
Not sure of the situation up there,but from where im sat seems that lots of fishers only have one thing on their tiny little minds or only have one mind set,and that's the destruction of our wild life in the name of 'Sport-or so called'
So again our wild life has to suffer cos of humans ?
Hey keep the numbers low by all means but as always if left nature takes care of thing in her own way and lets face it she been at this nature thing a good while now!
Whats will happen and what is happening is that riparian landowners and Aclubs will take things into their own hands and it will be like the 50s and 60s where birds of prey become nearly wiped out cos they eat grouse or pet pheasants that people like to shoot.
I hear reports of upcountry fisheries sitting it out like a stake out to shoot seals on yorkshire rivers,ok the seals are 3 rivers up from the sea and over 100 miles nearly from the sea but that dont give any other person the right to take them out based on sport or so called in many cases.

Ye lot are the first to winge when some one breaks a salmon fishing rule,they get hounded by the men with wigs who use these forums and yet ye the same lot want wildlife killed.wow i hate that despise it and despise people who want our wildlife killed off.

educated fools from uneducated schools.
 

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Ive done some dodgy things in my time but what i have never done is shoot or take down with dogs anything that wasnt to be eaten-like birds and seals/otters etc..
Not sure of the situation up there,but from where im sat seems that lots of fishers only have one thing on their tiny little minds or only have one mind set,and that's the destruction of our wild life in the name of 'Sport-or so called'
So again our wild life has to suffer cos of humans ?
Hey keep the numbers low by all means but as always if left nature takes care of thing in her own way and lets face it she been at this nature thing a good while now!
Whats will happen and what is happening is that riparian landowners and Aclubs will take things into their own hands and it will be like the 50s and 60s where birds of prey become nearly wiped out cos they eat grouse or pet pheasants that people like to shoot.
I hear reports of upcountry fisheries sitting it out like a stake out to shoot seals on yorkshire rivers,ok the seals are 3 rivers up from the sea and over 100 miles nearly from the sea but that dont give any other person the right to take them out based on sport or so called in many cases.

Ye lot are the first to winge when some one breaks a salmon fishing rule,they get hounded by the men with wigs who use these forums and yet ye the same lot want wildlife killed.wow i hate that despise it and despise people who want our wildlife killed off.

educated fools from uneducated schools.
---------------------------------

If the cap fits!!!:shocked:

How then would you keep the numbers down as you suggest then I wonder?
 

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Goosanders are killing more fish than anglers. Watching a female goosander take 5 parr in a few minutes and then swim over to her mates. We have 60-70 on a 5 mile part of the river. That works out at over 300 parr a day 7 days a week. Salmon we are told that only 5% of fish are making it back to the river.
In our case it would help to have more areas for the young ones to hide.
Bob.
 
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