Salmon Farming Improvements Needed

Jamie Oliver’s television advertising endorsement of Sainsbury’s Farmed Salmon once agin draws attention to issues
surrounding the aquaculture industry and its impact on wild salmon and sea trout.

Jamie Oliver’s television advertising endorsement of Sainsbury’s Farmed Salmon once agin draws attention to issues
surrounding the aquaculture industry and its impact on wild salmon and sea trout.

Salmon farming has been blamed for the collapse of many sea trout populations on the west coast of Scotland,
and for years of poor salmon runs. Sea lice populations, built up by the unnaturally large stocks of farmed
salmon in sea cages, transfer to wild fish, often affecting them so badly that they die, or become so moribund
that they are unable to breed once they return to freshwater. Added to this, escapee farmed fish interact with
wild fish on the spawning redds, diluting local gene pools and making the resulting juveniles less able to
survive in natural conditions.

The salmon farming industry is already heavily promoted and subsidised with EU grants and the free use of
clean water, and has free licence to pollute lochs and the marine environment with seemingly little responsibility
for the yearly escape of some 500,000 farmed salmon. Sea lice infestations and the potential to transfer disease
to wild fish have become the collective sword of Damocles hanging over wild salmonids as a result
of the aquaculture industry.

The Salmon & Trout Association is in close talks with the Scottish Executive through the Aquaculture Forum,
joining forces with colleagues from other organisations to influence the drafting and passage of the
Aquaculture Bill, scheduled for 2006/7. Our aim, as always, is the independent regulation of aquaculture
so that it has minimal impact on wild salmonids, or the aquatic environment which supports them.

S&TA Director, Paul Knight, said, “Our aim is to have sustainable aquaculture industry existing alongside
an equally viable fishing industry, with all the socio economic benefits that would bring to the economy
of Scotland’s west coast, especially important in the many remote communities to be found there. What we
cannot tolerate is the aquaculture industry being allowed to proliferate inefficiently at the expense of
wild fish interests.”

A Royal Commission has recommended that fishing should be banned in a third of UK waters to save threatened species

It is hard to imagine that we should tolerate a similar scale of destruction on land but, because it happens at sea, the damage is largely hidden

It is hard to imagine that we should tolerate a similar scale of destruction on land but, because it happens at sea,
the damage is largely hidden”

SIR TOM BLUNDELL,
CHAIRMAN OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION

Anglers Welcome Water and Sewage Improvements

Paul Knight, Director of the Salmon & Trout Association says, “An 18% price rise, ironically, is very good news
for all consumers.

Paul Knight, Director of the Salmon & Trout Association says, “An 18% price rise, ironically, is very good news
for all consumers. The rise is necessary to provide essential and much needed upgrades to water and sewage
infrastructure. Another benefit is these works will put an end to thousands of regular sewage ‘overflows’
into rivers and coastal waters.”

“This decision is good news for anglers, who contribute over 3.5 billion annually to the UK economy in rural and
remote communities, as well as all water dependent wildlife. We cannot afford to let our waters continue to be polluted.”

“The country’s top polluters – water and sewage companies – have to clean up their act, and this increase
will provide them with the necessary funds to do so. Continued violation of discharge consents will need
to be treated with stiff fines rather than excused as being inevitable, due to poor infrastructure, concludes Paul Knight.

Landmark Decision reinforces ” Polluter Pays” concept

“A happy day for the aquatic environment in the UK” says The Salmon & Trout Association.

“A happy day for the aquatic environment in the UK” says The Salmon & Trout Association.
Elliot Morley, Secretary of State for the Environment, has now ruled that major watercress producer and distributor,
Hampshire-based Vitacress, must fund an Independent Environmental Assessment before expanding its plant and washing
facilities, which directly affect the Bourne River.

At present there is an almost total lack of river invertebrates – essential ingredients in the aquatic food chain –
in the Bourne outlet channel used by Vitacress to dispose of this waste. As a result, very few fish are found there.
The cause of this is unknown but invertebrates and fish alike thrive in the upper reaches of the Bourne, which
are not affected by the Vitacress effluent.

The Secretary of State’s opinion that an EIA is required because the development would be likely to have
significant adverse environmental effects reinforces the judicial review – instigated by local resident Peter Evans –
which overturned expansion permission granted by local council Basingstoke and Deane. Before Vitacress can
proceed with plans to expand by 60% over the next five years, it has to pay to find the cause of the unknown
pollutants causing “significant damage” to the river and to implement solutions.

Peter Evans states, “The EIA must address the inputs and outputs of the factory process in terms of water
resources and discharges, and I hope the Environment Agency takes this opportunity to fully investigate
the same matters as they relate to the intensive farming operations and the potential for diffuse pollution
on the site.”

The Salmon & Trout Association welcomes this decision to require an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Executive Director, Paul Knight, concurs with the Secretary of State’s opinion that the “proposed development
would be likely to have significant effects on the environment because of its nature, size and location …”

He concludes, “This decision sends a strong message to all levels of government across the country that,
when existing operations are already causing significant damage, their expansion and intensification cannot
proceed without an independent Environmental Impact Assessment. Proper precautionary measures are required
to find the causes of the pollutants and to implement solutions to protect sensitive aquatic environments and
dependent species such as brown trout and grayling.”

Watercress: good for you – bad for the environment?

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Elliot Morley, will deliver a direction on a local planning matter on
Wednesday 3 November that could have far-reaching consequences for the way in which the UK prepares to meet the EU’s
Water Framework Directive.

November test case raises profound implications for the health of all of Britain’s rivers

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Elliot Morley, will deliver a direction on a local planning matter on
Wednesday 3 November that could have far-reaching consequences for the way in which the UK prepares to meet the EU’s
Water Framework Directive.

Castigated in previous reports for the poor quality of the waters in our rivers, the Secretary has already
committed millions for clean-up programmes to commence. However, the outcome of a planning application by Vitacress,
the watercress company, to expand its operations in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that includes the pristine
chalk river, the Bourne Rivulet, in Hampshire will create a precedence with national implications and has the potential
to negate the recently launched efforts to protect and restore chalk rivers.

A planning application granted to Vitacress in April for its proposed expansion has already been overturned through
a judicial review instigated by a local resident, Peter Evans, supported by the Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA).
Because the council, Basingstoke and Deane, conceded that it had not followed the Environmental Impact Assessment
procedures (EIA), a High Court order quashed the expansion permission. However, Vitacress’s application still stands,
and the company intends to proceed with it to meet its plans to expand by 60% over the next five years.

And why shouldn’t it? Watercress has been grown commercially in the area since the early 1900s – Vitacress
itself has been there since the mid-1960s and is now a major local employer with a £60m+ turnover. Watercress
is a known “alpha-plus” food, high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants that some health experts believe help prevent cancer.

However, that is only one side of the coin. As Peter Evans maintains, “This is not a cottage industry.
It is intensive farming on a large scale that has a huge environmental impact on the surrounding area”.
The company imports most of its product from abroad – up to 95% in winter. Its washing processes not only
require large quantities of water – they can abstract up to a massive 32 megalitres a day from the boreholes
on site – but also deposit foreign matter, especially silt and pesticide residue, directly into the river system.”

Environment Agency research shows that there is a significant decline in river invertebrates – essential
ingredients in the aquatic food chain – in the Bourne outlet channel used by Vitacress to dispose of this
waste. As a result, very few fish are found there. Even 2.9 km downstream of the effluent discharge there
are 90% fewer freshwater shrimp. Evans continues, “Neither English Nature nor the EA know what is causing
this but as invertebrates and fish are plentiful above the Vitacress factory effluent discharge, but not
below, at the very least the Precautionary Principle – the first premise of the EIA – should be invoked.”

Additionally, the water abstraction required to maintain the Vitacress washing processes is adversely effecting
water levels throughout the region, prematurely draining water meadows, ponds and streams.

“The major problems facing all British rivers – especially diffuse pollution and excessive abstraction –
are encapsulated in this situation,” Paul Knight, S&TA Director, asserts. “Defra’s present responsibilities
under the Water Framework Directive and Catchment Sensitive Farming (diffuse pollution) are central to this issue.”

And what of the Environment Agency, the body whose sole purpose is to. well, protect the environment?
The local EA office recognises that something is causing a “significant impact” and “significant deterioration”,
but currently maintains that a water resources issue cannot be taken into account in a planning matter –
a stance that both Evans and the S&TA regard with astonishment, especially as the national EA Fisheries Department
is attempting to protect pristine brown trout population, such as that contained within the Bourne Rivulet, through
delivery of its Trout & Grayling Strategy.

“We believe the threats to the Bourne Rivulet from growing watercress intensively, using huge quantities of
water to clean local and imported plants, potentially containing pesticide and other residues that are then
discharged into the Bourne, is a matter of the utmost concern for the EA in their statutory duty to protect
the environment,” Paul Knight declares. “It is absolutely essential that on 3 November the Secretary of State
directs that an independent Environmental Impact Assessment be required before Vitacress is granted permission
to expand. We strongly believe that decisions taken locally on this issue will have national implications for
delivery of future EA and Defra environmental strategies.”

The EA meanwhile still maintains that the residues can be controlled by discharge consents, separate from
planning, and while it accepts Vitacress’s assurance of keeping residues of silt, and any other substance,
on site are sufficient protection, it acknowledges it still does not know what is causing the “significant
impact” on Hampshire’s Bourne Rivulet.

STARK MESSAGE FROM S&TA NATIONAL RIVER FLY SURVEY

First ever national survey shows dramatic decline in river fly numbers across the country. Urgent action is needed now.

First ever national survey shows dramatic decline in river fly numbers across the country. Urgent action is needed now.

The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) National River Fly Survey results demonstrate that there has been a dramatic
decline in river fly numbers from the 1950s to 2001.

Peter Hayes, the Survey co-ordinator, explains that, “River flies are the miner’s canary of environmental quality.
They have been declining at a tremendous rate. While there are indications that the Government and its agencies are
moving to understand this problem, the willingness to ensure adequate investment to overcome the problems is perhaps
still in doubt. The government and EU concerns about the poor quality of our waterbodies are well placed. These
results place further pressure with Government to comply with new EU water regulations.”

Over 182 river keepers, riparian owners, angling club officials and anglers, together spending 3,822 days on the
river bank, from the Scottish Highlands to the Southern chalk streams, participated in this comprehensive
overview of river fly life.

The results from this national fly life survey parallel the decline previously revealed by the Millennium Chalk
Stream Fly Survey. The river fly decline is revealed as a national problem, and not just one of the chalk streams.
Overall, fly numbers have fallen to one third of those observed in the 1950s and 1960s. This is not surprising
given the well-evidenced declines in terrestrial insects extending across the country as a whole, with their
damaging impact upon numbers of insect eating birds and other wildlife.

The survey posed the key question “How good was the fly?” Respondents replied with “Good Hatches Frequently”
(GHF), “Good Hatches Infrequently”, “Sparse Hatches Frequently”, “Sparse Hatches Infrequently”, “Very Little Fly”
and “Absent”.

The percentage of GHF reports has fallen nationally from 85% in the 1960s to 33% in the first half of the 1990s to a
devastating low of only 13% in 1998 (which increased slightly to 17% in 2000 and 2001, probably because of improved
river flows following the drought years of the late 1990s).

The angler is uniquely qualified to observe and report on fly life, as anglers study flies almost as closely as fish.
Fly fishers, as anglers call themselves, create imitation flies in their larval, nymph, and adult form, and cast them
out to tempt fish, which rise to the surface of the water to catch river flies. Without the fly, and the fish that
feed on them, there is no fly fishing.

“We now know how vital healthy river flows are in encouraging an abundance of fly life,” Paul Knight, S&TA Director,
declares. “Diffuse pollution including pesticides and silt, excessive water abstraction, inadequately treated sewage,
and urban run-off are all having a negative impact on the health of the aquatic environment throughout the nation.“

Dr. Cyril Bennett, a river fly expert with the John Spedan Lewis Trust for the Advancement of Natural Sciences, and
member of the Riverfly Interest Group says, “the decline may not be one single problem across the whole country.
It may be many local problems in a lot of places.”

Paul Knight adds, “We must do everything we can to reverse this parlous situation. The stark equation is:
no fly life on the river equals no life in the river. It’s that simple. The survival of fish, and ultimately,
all other water-dependent wildlife, relies on an abundance of river flies heralding a healthy aquatic environment.”

Note to Editors: River Fly Photos available

Carry on includes:
• Why the mixed messages about the state of the country’s rivers?

• What the Government needs to do to help our river flies

• Example of a local problem that led to fly life decline

• Regional breakdown of river fly results

• Highlights by species of fly

• Who completed the survey and with what aids

• Overall conclusions

• How to participate in the river fly surve

• Upcoming conference on river flies at the Natural History Museum

For further information and general press enquiries, please contact:

Carmel Jorgensen, Tel: 020 7283 5838
carmel@salmon-trout.org

www.salmon-trout.org
Fishmongers’ Hall, London Bridge, London EC4R 9EL


The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) is the senior game angling organization in the United Kingdom.
For over 100 years, the S&TA has had successful input to every major piece of fisheries related legislation.
We represent 15,000 individual members and 100,000 club members, and have 52 branches spread across the UK.
Environmental issues are at the core of our work.

BACKGROUNDER
Why the mixed messages about the state of the country’s rivers?

While the 2003 Environment Agency annual river quality report, released last week, stated that the rivers of
England and Wales have never been cleaner, we also learned at the same time, that a Government risk assessment of
these same rivers showed that 95% would fail the European Union (EU) criteria for good ecological status under the
Water Framework Directive (WFD). Now, the Salmon & Trout Association National River Fly Survey reveals a dramatic
decline in fly life abundance across the nation.

What the EU WFD criteria and the dramatic decline in fly life mean for the Government is that the monitoring
tools currently used to assess river quality do not include the range of measurements required to assess ecological
health. For example, fly life abundance is dependent on water quality and quantity. The current criteria only
looks at water quality, and ignores water quantity.

Another example of where the current methods fall short is in the biological monitoring of invertebrates,
which, although an integral part of the monitoring process, may not highlight changes. The invertebrate
measurement was never designed to assess for particular species abundance, or dramatic declines in numbers,
thus those declines may not be identified. If the number of river flies drops from 999 to 100, it counts as
the same number of river flies within the scoring system, thus ecological impacts and declines are not recorded.

Similarly, the biological sampling does not take place in the summer when pollutants and pesticides can have their
greatest impact due, in part, to low water flows. Also, the limited seasonality of the sampling does not deal with
summer fly life changes. What this shortcoming means is that a toxic substance such as sheep dip, which can wipe
out the abundance of river flies, but not alter the species present, may not be noted. It can mean the cause of
the decline (i.e. from pollution) is missed completely and goes unrecorded.

Additionally, the new EU WFD standards will require noting the effects of water abstraction on aquatic ecology.
Currently, water abstraction and water quality are not necessarily being jointly assessed, yet fly life depends
on river flow and temperature.

What the Government needs to do to help fly life

The Government needs to ensure adequate measurement of abundance in its biological surveys, set up an agreed
test for anglers and others to measure fly life in the summer months, and set firm limits on water abstraction
to protect river flows and ensure that invertebrates are not ‘dried out’ from lack of water or pollution.

To set abstraction limits, the river flow, quality, and temperature requirements for river flies and the
habitats (i.e. plants) they depend on needs to be better understood, and then serve as a strict limit to
abstraction. When the Government knows and acts on what is required to sustain abundant fly life populations,
it will enable tighter environmental protection. Flies are small and vulnerable and to keep them alive we
have to manage the whole aquatic ecosystem.

Example of weakness in current water quality measuring system: local problem of fly life decline

Dr Cyril Bennett provides an example, “On one stretch of the River Wey, the fly life numbers have been low for
15 years. We discovered the cause was insecticides entering the sewage treatment system, and being discharged
into the river in the summer months. The insecticides killed most of the freshwater invertebrates for 10-15
miles down the river, dramatically reducing their abundance, or knocking some out completely. But, the
pollution incidents were unknown to the authorities and going unrecorded. Anglers were the ones who
initially noticed the problem. Now in collaboration with the water company and the Environment Agency,
we are monitoring the situation. There are passive monitoring systems in the sewage system to note where
insecticides enter the system, to find the source and press charges as necessary. Anglers continue to
monitor the river by measuring the abundance of river flies.”

Regional breakdown of results for the S&TA National River Fly Survey

The Yorkshire region exhibited much less of a decline up until 1999, and a higher than average final level
of abundance of 44 for 2000 and 2001 – however, it finished the period in decline when other regions were recovering.

Northumbria region suffered a very fast decline through the ‘70s,’80s and early ‘90s. Overall, it has half the
average abundance level of other regions at an abundance score of 13, and showed no recovery in 2001 and 2002.

The North West region has not seen good numbers of fly since the 1960s, and reached a low point of abundance
at a score of 27 in 1998, recovering, however, to 36 in 2001, slightly above average.

Scotland showed a distinct improvement in 2000 and 2001 from a very low level — fly abundance fell much later,
but very sharply from a score of 75 as late as the 1980s, to 17 in the late 1990s. Encouragingly, a dramatic recovery
to a score of 38 is reported by 2001.

Welsh respondents reported a sharp decline through the 1980s and 1990s to a level of abundance over the
millennium period that equals the average of other regions. There was an improvement to a score of 37
in 2000, which unfortunately fell back to 27 in 2001 (this may have been due to sheep dip problems).

Seven Trent region has been recovering slowly from a score of 32 in the mid-1990s reached after a comparatively
late, but very steep decline from 59 in the early part of the last decade — and was by 2001 at a score of 41,
somewhat above average and improving.

Southern region suffered a dramatic decline in the early and mid-1990s from an abundance score of 79 in the 1980s
to a score of around 27 in 1998, but was steady at that level over the millennium.

(Reporting numbers in other regions were too few to make commentary possible).

Highlights by species of fly

Small upwings generally, as in the chalk stream survey, have been suffering slightly more than average,
crossing the millennium with a score of 27 compared with that shown above for fly in general of 31.

Within the small upwings category, Blue Winged Olive were still falling nationally in 2000 and 2001, and
had reached an abundance score of 25. The Iron Blue was showing a very slight improvement in these recent years,
from a score of 13 to a score of 16. The March Brown is now at very low levels. It was common in the Sixties,
but has declined to the low teens of abundance in the 1990s and subsisted in 2001 at a score of 13 having hit
a low point of 11. The Olive Upright had an early decline that brought it down to an abundance score of 35 by
the 1980s, from which it has slowly subsided to 22 in 2001.

Mayfly (Ephemera, Danica, etc) has exhibited no real decline at all on a national basis, and has a higher average
abundance score than small upwings generally, steady at between 32 and 34 since the 1980s. It’s long lived nymph
relies on silt and probably does well as a result of the agrarian change we have seen over the period in question
which results in greater winter runoff.

Sedges have had less of a decline than small upwings, and also enjoy somewhat higher abundance levels across
the country at around 35 to 37 in recent years.

Stoneflies suffered an earlier decline than most river flies, starting in the 1970s and completed their decline
by the 1980s. Abundance scores have been steady at about 25 to 27 since then.

Who completed the survey and with what aids

About half our respondents were able to rely on written records in completing the questionnaire. As in the
chalk stream survey, those with written records are in close agreement with those without, over the final two
to three years of the period reported — but before that, they record rather better hatches than those without
written records, with a steeper decline following. In the case of respondents without written records, to a
degree rose tinted nostalgia tells them of a sharper decline over past decades than probably actually occurred,
if as seems sensible the reports of those with written records are to be accorded greater credibility.
The encouraging conclusion from this is that when the survey moves next year to incremental single-season,
current-year reporting, memory reporters are likely to be as good as those writing down the fly that they see.

The average number of days fished by our 182 respondents was 21 days, with 3822 days in total for 2001.
More than average those on the riverbank were more likely to report good hatches, which seems sensible, as
their more frequent visits would be more likely to coincide with good hatches coming off the water. Over
half the questionnaire respondents were river keepers, riparian owners, or club officials.

Overall conclusions

The river fly decline is revealed as a national problem and not just one of the chalk streams. This is not
surprising given the well-evidenced declines in terrestrial insects extending across the country as a whole,
with their damaging impact upon numbers of insect eating birds and other wildlife. There is no doubt that a
combination of climate change and both diffuse and specific pollution is largely to blame, aggravated in the
case of river flies by extremes of flow. The Government and its agencies are recognising the seriousness of
these problems and beginning to take appropriate actions, however, the willingness to ensure adequate investment
to overcome the problems is perhaps still in doubt. Meanwhile, we have a lot to learn as river managers about how
to help our fly back to higher abundance levels.

How to participate?

Anglers wishing to partake in the S&TA Fly Life Survey can access the form on the S&TA web site at
www.salmon-trout.org, or call S&TA HQ on 020 7283 5838.

Upcoming conference on river flies at the Natural History Museum

Thursday 25 November provides an opportunity to bring together those with an interest in river flies to
work together towards solutions. For futher information and registration forms please contact Bridget
Peacock via email: bpeacock@nhm.ac.uk

WHAT PRICE CLEAN WATER? THE STAKES RISE EVER HIGHER

The Salmon & Trout Association calls for action as it warns of stark choices for consumers – and the end of cheap
water as EU sets timetable for clean-up of British rivers

The Salmon & Trout Association calls for action as it warns of stark choices for consumers – and the end of cheap
water as EU sets timetable for clean-up of British rivers

The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) is deeply concerned that the government’s go-ahead for water
companies to include environmental improvements in their workplans is too little, too late – and
penalises the innocent. The EU Water Framework Directive, setting minimum quality standards that
most British rivers would now fail, is a clarion call for action NOW, the S&TA proclaims.

“We welcome the announced multi-million pound investment to update the Thames’s antiquated sewerage system,”
Paul Knight, S&TA Director, declares. “We have been vigorously lobbying for this for some time and are
delighted that the government now recognises the need. Although Thames spending over the next five years
will prevent some spillage, building the big relief pipe to accommodate London’s sewage and rainwater overflows
is only planned to begin in 2010. What is going to happen with the untreated sewage polluting the Thames after
every moderate rainfall between now and then?”

The S&TA highlights the dire consequences now facing the country’s rivers and streams as a result of excessive
water abstraction, inefficiently treated sewage, diffuse pollution, and urban run off combined with unrealistically
cheap water prices.

The good news for our rivers and streams…

· The EU Water Framework Directive requirements, due to come into force in 2015, are such that 90% of British
rivers and streams would fail if they were applied now. However, the S&TA, in conjunction with other environmental
organisations, has already gained important commitments from Defra to begin to address this dire state of affairs
immediately. In particular:

• To help meet national targets for conserving and enhancing threatened water and wetland species and habitats;

•Investigate the best means of removing hormones (endocrine disrupting substances) from the treated
sewage that routinely enters our waterways and also changes the sex of fish.

• To begin working with land managers to prevent pollutants from entering the water system at the source,
thus keeping the whole system cleaner, and reducing the costs of water treatment.

• To improve the effluent quality from sewage treatment works discharging into the Thames.

… and the bad
But none of the above actions are going to be enough on their own to enable Britain’s rivers to meet the EU targets.
Necessary action must begin with implementing integrated land and water management now, and the costs must be borne by
the Government. The S&TA is concerned that government and other agencies are failing to take action with force and conviction.

“The S&TA saw the original Defra proposal to raise domestic water rates by 31% between 2005 and 2010, as a bare
minimum requirement to protect the aquatic environment. Now that Ofwat have recommended a cut in this figure to
13%, we despair of putting across the fundamental message that cheap water is no longer an option if we are ever
to halt the insidious degradation of our rivers, streams and lakes,” Paul Knight declares.

ENDS

Note to editors
For further information and general press enquiries, please contact:
Carmel Jorgensen, Tel: 020 7283 5838 carmel@salmon-trout.org

www.salmon-trout.org
Fishmongers’ Hall, London Bridge, London EC4R 9EL

The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) is the senior game angling organization in the United Kingdom.
For 100 years, the S&TA has had successful input to every major piece of fisheries related legislation.
We represent 15,000 individual members and 85,000 club members, and have 52 branches spread across the UK.
Environmental issues are at the core of our work.

S&TA represents fisheries interests on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Stakeholders’
Group on the current round of consultations over water price increases in the next five years.

Currently, there are 120 days in the year (33% of the time) where participating in watersports on the tidal
Thames is not advised due to risk of illness because of sewage and related debris.

Anglers welcome responsible management of Cormorants!

The Moran Committee welcomes the announcement by Fisheries and Conservation Minister, Ben Bradshaw, on the relaxation of the licence application process for shooting cormorants.

The Moran Committee welcomes the announcement by Fisheries and Conservation Minister, Ben Bradshaw, on the relaxation of the
licence application process for shooting cormorants.

Cormorant numbers hunting inland have increased dramatically over the past three decades, and it is now widely accepted
that they can cause significant damage to fish stocks and fisheries. Currently, some 23,000 birds over-winter in Great
Britain, with perhaps 17,000 being present in England.

Defra has been conducting a review of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which implements the EU Birds
Directive and applies conditions under which birds causing a nuisance may be controlled, including shooting
as a means to scaring. The main points to come from this review, and included in the Minster’s statement,
are detailed below.

This concludes several years of lobbying by angling and fisheries organisations on the issue, and a few
recent weeks of intensive consultation between Defra and the Moran Committee Bird Group, represented by
its Chairman, National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives’ Terry Mansbridge, and the Salmon
& Trout Association’s Paul Knight.

Terry Mansbridge said, “We welcome these changes of policy by Defra, which will significantly improve the
ability of fishery managers to protect their fish stocks whilst not affecting the conservation status of the
birds. Our thanks to the Minister and his department, and to Martin Salter MP for his efforts on our behalf.”

Paul Knight agreed. “We particularly welcome the added protection this will give vulnerable migrating salmon and
sea trout smolts, together with spawning coarse fish and recently stocked fish in still waters.”

Both added, “It is now up to all fishery managers to use the new and improved procedures, if they have a
problem with cormorants. We believe that this will allow fishery managers to redress the local balance
between inland avian predators and freshwater fish populations, without causing undue impact on national
cormorant numbers. It is a responsible compromise which meets the need to protect fish stocks as well as birds”.

Lord Moran, Chairman of the Moran Committee, said, “all anglers should be grateful to Terry Mansbridge and
Paul Knight and their colleagues on the Committee’s Bird Group for their unremitting efforts to bring about
a sensible solution to this problem, which has now been achieved. We must also be grateful to Ben Bradshaw,
who has listened to what our Committee has been saying and given us a fair set of measures which should reduce
the damage done to fisheries by cormorants while preserving reasonable numbers of birds and fish.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

The principal points are:
• Total number of birds licensed to be raised from about 600 to 2,000 per year, with the
ability to increase to 3,000 if deemed necessary, or to decrease if conservation is threatened.

• An easier application process, where presence of cormorants is proof enough of potential impact
without having to submit evidence of actual damage.

• The ability for Defra to grant a licence for two years without the need to reapply for the second year.

• Under special circumstances, extension of the shooting season to May 1st, particularly to protect
salmon and sea trout smolts on their downstream migration.

• The Environment Agency and other Defra agencies are to be urged to take notice of these

The Moran Committee, chaired by Lord Moran, is the united voice for all the main fisheries and angling groups
in England and Wales. The aim of the Committee is to reach consensus on current fisheries and angling issues
among its twelve member organisations.

The Moran Committee Bird Group started meeting in January 2001 to develop constructive dialogue
and co-operation between anglers, fishery interests and bird interests. The aim of the Committee
is to identify common ground on the bird predation issue and to ensure that a reasonable balance
is struck between the need to conserve both fish and birds. Members are committed to finding
acceptable management strategies to what can be a challenging situation. The website www.cormorants.info
is managed by the Moran Committee Joint Bird Group members.

Contact Moran Committee: c/o Salmon & Trout Association, Fishmongers’ Hall, London EC4R 9EL Tel: 020 7283 5838

S&TA letter published in The Times

Sir, Anglers are not calling for a cull of swans, not are they “on the warpath” (report, August 23). What anglers are doing is calling attention to the deterioration of protected conservation habitats of chalk streams brought on by many contributing factors,

Sir, Anglers are not calling for a cull of swans, not are they “on the warpath” (report, August 23).
What anglers are doing is calling attention to the deterioration of protected conservation habitats of chalk
streams brought on by many contributing factors, including the removal of unsustainable amounts of water for
drinking and irrigation purposes, and pollution from pesticide and fertiliser use on the surrounding land.

We recognise that it is premature to suggest management solutions for the problems caused by swans: we are waiting
for the outcome of research to quantify the damage done by them, led by the Department for Rural Affairs.

From: Paul Knight, Director, Salmon & Trout Association.