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Open competition: Assessment of the problem of fish-eating birds in inland fisheries in England and Wales - VC0104

In recent years there has been a rapid increase in UK populations of cormorants and other fish-eating birds, and the numbers of fish-eating birds currently visiting inland waters are perceived by anglers and fishery managers to be adversely affecting fish stocks in England and Wales. Although cormorants, herons and sawbill ducks are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, limited numbers of birds may be shot under licence to prevent serious damage to fisheries. However, an increased understanding of bird/fish interactions on inland waters is necessary in order to make a balanced choice between conservation and riparian interests. The aim of this study is to conduct a thorough and extensive review of the national and international scientific literature, together with published and unpublished reports and information not in the public domain, relating to the impact of fish-eating birds on inland fish stocks. Particular reference will be made to the impact of different levels of fish stock removal and different population levels of cormorants and sawbills on subsequent availability of fish to the fisheries; also studied will be the relationships between fish populations and the feeding patterns of cormorants and sawbills. All available information will be critically evaluated and compiled into a report which will aim to: review all aspects of work relating to interactions between fish and fish-eating birds; provide a complementary link with other fish-eating bird research contracts; assist in the evaluation of licences to shoot birds for the prevention of serious damage to fisheries; and make recommendations for further research.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1996

Cost: £31,997
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd., Central Science Laboratory, CEFAS, British Trust For Ornithology, University - Glasgow
Fields of Study
Wildlife Management