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Natural England's fish-eating birds plan for Eden and Derwent is shot down

25.10.17

River Eden spring fishing for salmon x550px

Anglers on two of northwest England’s best salmon rivers were alarmed when Natural England removed the licensed quotas allowing a limited number of fish-eating goosanders to be shot on 10km of the lowest stretches of the rivers.

The Eden and Derwent are designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for their salmon feature – which is now in ‘unfavourable’ conservation status – and the licensed quotas were removed because a new marine protection area (SPA) to include goosanders and other fish-eating bird species is proposed for the Solway Firth.

However, at a recent meeting with angling representatives and Fish Legal, Natural England conceded that the goosanders predating on salmon juveniles in the two rivers could be ‘inland’ birds not actually from the newly-protected marine population and much more numerous. They agreed that the licensed quota could be restored during the highly vulnerable smolt run which occurs after the protected overwintering birds have left the area.

Legal avenues aimed at restoring the balance towards the ‘protected’ SAC salmon populations are being considered.

Goosander and cormorant on lower Eden x550px

Goosanders and a cormorant on the lower Eden

Contact: Fish Legal - Eastwood House | 6 Rainbow Street | Leominster | HR6 8DQ | Tel: 01568 620447

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