CORMORANT MINI-CONFERENCE WILL DEBATE CALLS FOR NEW BIRD MANAGEMENT PLAN
The call for a pan-European management plan for fish-eating cormorants will be debated at a special mini-conference in Brussels in November.
EFTTA supports the idea of a European-wide strategy to control the birds, which are wiping out fish stocks across the continent at a rate of 1,000 tonnes a day.
On November 4, Dr Franz Kohl of the European Anglers Alliance will present evidence that the growing number of birds has done great damage and is posing a huge threat to fish stocks, angling and the European fishing tackle trade.
He will be making a presentation to a mini-conference at the European Union’s Committee of the Regions (CoR), which will be attended by MEPs, European Commission representatives, regional stakeholders and Birdlife.
EFTTA lobbyist, Jan Kappel, said: “The CoR is an important body because it has to be consulted before EU decisions are taken on matters such as regional policy and the environment.
“We know some regions are very pleased that something is being done for their cormorant problems now. This mini-conference is a good opportunity for angling to stress to the CoR members that there are EU nations and regions with cormorant management plans in place already. There is also nothing stopping other regions putting in place management plans, nothing apart from their own reluctant Governments.
“However, a European-wide management plan for cormorants is still urgently needed to secure proper monitoring, data collection and the cross-border exchange of data to provide everything needed for efficient management of these birds without too much overlap. This will put a stop to unnecessary spending on projects such as scaring the birds from one region to another as is happening today.”
The European Parliament Fisheries Committee will vote on MEP Heinz Kindermann’s report, calling for a management plan, a day later, on November 5.
EFTTA remains hopeful that action will be taken over cormorants. This summer, the Commission acknowledged that ‘there is a problem’ with the birds and the European Parliament’s fisheries committee is well aware by now that there is mounting evidence that the birds are having a catastrophic effect.
Increasing numbers of the fish-eating birds are sweeping across Europe, with almost two million cormorants established on the continent.