Predation Action Group

The PAG welcomes the news that Natural England has issued a class licence for the removal of otters from fenced fisheries, in controlled circumstances by trained operatives who are contactable through the UK Wild Otter Trust. This licence does not go as far as PAG might wish, but it is an important step on the path to controlling predation on the nation’s fisheries, just as was the issue of group licences for the control of cormorants in whole catchments. 

The PAG, Carp Angling Conservation Group and Angling Trust Specialist Freshwater Advisory Group have all been working with UKWOT and Natural England to achieve this breakthrough. It is a small but significant step and demonstrates that angling, working with conservation groups, can achieve change in the management of our countryside and fisheries when we need it. 

The PAG continues to be concerned about the aggregate levels of predation on fisheries with zebra mussels, signal crayfish, mink, cormorants, goosanders, otters, and seals all impacting on fish at every stage of their lives in British waters, 75% of which fail to reach good ecological condition under the Water Framework Directive. 

The PAG will continue to research and publish data about predation impacts on fisheries, and push for an extension of the recent class licence to other fisheries.

Mick Clifford