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Case studies of the effect of fish-eating birds on inland fisheries in England and Wales - VC0106

This study will aim to quantify short- and long-term damage caused by fish-eating birds (cormorants and goosanders) to fish stocks in inland waters in England and Wales. Detailed monitoring of fish and bird populations will be conducted at a wide range of river and stillwater fisheries located in 4 key regions perceived to experience problems with fish-eating birds (north-west, midlands and south-east England and Wales). Existing data sources will be used to evaluate the current status of fish populations and fish eating birds at the selected fishery locations. Annual and seasonal variation in numbers, distribution and behaviour of cormorants and goosanders at the sites selected will be regularly monitored. Depletion of experimentally manipulated fish populations at selected stillwater sites visited by cormorants will be monitored and economic implications associated with restocking will be estimated. Feeding ecology and impact studies, involving qualitative evaluation of fish species consumed by cormorants and goosanders (requiring licensed shooting of birds) and quantification of the losses incurred at studied fisheries, will also be conducted. Integration of fisheries and bird data will allow the following: establishment of the circumstances in which fish stock losses may be reasonably attributed to bird predation; modelling of the likely future impact of bird predation from simple environmental and fisheries data; and the production of guidelines on use of the acquired data in the construction of robust, defensible fish stock damage estimates. The study is intended to provide a sound platform from which to inform policy and advise interested parties on the nature and extent of damage to UK freshwater fisheries by fish-eating birds.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1998

Cost: £302,269
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Hull, University - John Moores, Liverpool
Fields of Study
Wildlife Management