BRITAIN’S biggest shooting organisation is looking at ways it can help anglers address the problems caused by cormorants.

Officials from the National Federation of Anglers (NFA) and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) met recently to discuss co-operation and have identified ways in which they can work together.

BASC has a particular expertise in dealing with predation by birds and has conducted intensive research into non-lethal methods of deterrence. Where licences have been granted to use firearms to scare off cormorants BASC will offer advice on the acquisition and the use of shotguns and training for licence holders with a shotgun certificate.

The BASC will also help fishery managers contact clubs, gamekeepers or similarly experienced individuals who can help with deterrence where necessary.

Martin Salter MP, the Parliamentary spokesman for Angling and Shooting, commented: “This really is a countryside alliance worthy of its name and I am delighted to have helped in bringing these two great organisations together to help angling fight the menace of cormorant predation.”

NFA Membership Services Manager, Bob Clark, said: “The aim of the NFA Cormorant Action Group is to provide direct assistance to clubs suffering from cormorant predation. Our link-up with the BASC means that NFA clubs can receive direct assistance in completing and submitting their licence applications and, as an additional service, we can now link them with a shooting club in their area who will bring a special expertise in dealing with predators.”

Jeffrey Olstead, spokesman for the BASC explained: “We are very pleased to be able to help fellow sportsmen in what can be a difficult area. We have considerable expertise in predator control and since many shooters are also keen fishermen we have a good understanding of the problems involved.”