ANGLING will have strong representation with Government as the great cormorant debate enters a critical new stage.

At an Angling Summit in Whitehall last week, leading lights from the Joint Angling Governing Bodies – which represents coarse, sea and game angling interests – were told that they would be playing a central role in a new round of top level talks on the issue of fish predation by the birds.

In announcing the talks, which will also include the RSPB and English Nature, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael admitted that the time for shouting was over. He said he was aware of the frustration of the nation’s anglers.

The summit was marked by the handing over of a petition containing the signatures of 40,000 anglers, all of them calling for drastic and immediate action to stop cormorants destroying our natural inland fisheries.