Pic: Innovative techniques such as mannequins have been used to deter fish-eating birds including cormorants
Funding for two vital Angling Trust roles to help tackle predation by cormorants and goosanders has been extended for a further two years.
The Environment Agency has been given approval to use rod licence income to safeguard the Fisheries Management Adviser (FMA) posts until April 2019. Where appropriate, the area-based approach to issuing licences for lethal control will also continue, rather than requiring every individual fishery to submit an individual application.
Since being appointed three years ago, the FMAs have helped hundreds of fishery managers on rivers and lakes not only with licence applications but with practical advice to protect fish using innovative techniques such as the use of lasers and lifelike mannequins to deter birds, as well as exclusion tactics and fish refuge.
While their work will be very much focused on the issues around fish-eating birds, the FMAs are also able to advise those fishery managers encountering other predation problems such as otters.
Mark Owen, Angling Trust’s Head of Freshwater, said: “I am delighted that funding has been secured for these important roles. It enables our two FMAs to continue to provide invaluable advice and practical support to angling clubs and fisheries all over the country which has successfully helped to protect fisheries from predation.”
Judy Proctor, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “Securing the funding for the FMA roles is great news for us and the work we do. Their roles enable us to fulfil our duty to protect fish stocks, improve fisheries and support angling clubs and partners. The funding secured highlights the importance of rod licence income and how it is used to benefit the angling community as a whole.”