Cormorant Predation - United We Stand...
Rod Sturdy offers his usual forthright opinion on the latest news from the Angling Trust.
United we stand...
…and divided we fall: this old saying is as true today as it ever was. So the latest news from the Angling Trust is heartening - because it represents a further step towards angling unity and solidarity.
The Trust has now joined forces with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) to provide a unique service for angling clubs with a cormorant problem. The BASC will now provide qualified, expert shots to do the necessary shooting but perhaps more importantly they can also provide people with the knowledge and expertise to complete the nine-page form (I kid you not) devised by Natural England before the shooting can commence - and all free of charge to clubs which are members of the Angling Trust.
This is excellent news for angling clubs with considerable cormorant problems and which have hitherto have had to buy or improvise cormorant deterrent devices or have even been given the somewhat bizarre ‘advice’ to 'burst balloons' to deter the birds!
It is always gratifying to see instances of sporting solidarity and co-operation and this one is an excellent example. We anglers and shooters share a common hunting urge, whether we realise it or not. We also tend to share common enemies: those extremist organisations who are determined, at all costs, to ban us; and the more extreme bird lobby, which appears to be obsessed with the welfare of predatory birds at the expense of all other avian species, and also of course of fish life.
Also, many members of the general public seem to regard fishing and shooting as cruel, largely without any direct experience or real knowledge of the sports they deplore. I have lost count of the number of times people have told me that they love birds and do not really care about fish; as if there was no connection between birds and fish…It is therefore important for anglers and shooters to take any opportunity to educate those who have been influenced and misinformed by the fanatical bird lobby and anti- ‘blood sport’ faction who regard shooting and fishing as beyond the pale. To tell the truth, BASC has already done a sterling job in promoting the positive image of shooting amongst the general public through their own union.
Anglers have still have a lot to achieve and the only way they can only influence politicians and public opinion is through a strong ‘union’ of their own – the Angling Trust.
There is another bit of positive news I’d like to tell you about: the Government - in the shape of Defra - have agreed to conduct an enquiry into the cormorant problem. It will evidence-led, which clearly means that the more evidence there is available, the better. So to collect that evidence, the Angling Trust has set up the ‘Cormorant Watch’ website so that anglers, whether they are Angling Trust members or not, can report sightings of cormorants and pinpoint the location of these sightings.
So show a bit of solidarity and report all cormorant sightings on the Cormorant Watch website and help to fight the angling cause by joining the Angling Trust today.
By the Same Author
- Bailiffing our Fisheries - The Battle Ahead
- Otters, Angling and the BBC - Amateurish, Inaccurate and Biased.
- British Trust for Ornithology
- Cormorants and Angling - An Open Letter to the RSPB
- Otters - This Far and no Further...
- Beavers and Us
- If I Really Wanted to Mess Things Up
- Drought, Yet Again...
- Angling Politics - There is no room for Complacency...
- Education, Education, Education...