The number of cormorants in the Uk has increased by 17 times in the last 25 years and the RSPB do not see that this is a problem
The lies that they expect us to swallow:
Many birdwatchers and Nature Organisations try to tell us things about cormorants that are at the very best hard to believe and at worst totally untrue.
Here is a list of their claims and my thoughts regarding these claims :
Cormorants have come inland because of a lack of fish in the sea. This statement is total and utter bollocks.
I have been sea fishing many times recently and one thing that I have not found is a lack of small fish, if you fish with small hooks and ragworms you will get bites all day from just the sort of fish that cormorants are supposed to eat, I have caught Dogfish, SeaBream, Wrasse, Whiting, Pout, Pollack, Gobies, Bass, Flounders, etc. All of these fish were under a pound in weight Ideal cormorant food I have seen few cormorants on the sea but dozens on the local rivers.
Shooting cormorants just doesn't work! ??? Ha Ha thats a good one. If you have 10 cormorants on your lake and then you shoot 8 of them there will be 2 left, simple maths, 10-8 =2. In the future every day there will be at least 32 more fish left in your lake than there would have been if you hadn't shot them, eg, after ten days there will be 320 more fish left, after 100 days there will be 3,200. This simple maths assumes that each cormorant is only eating 4 fish per day, but as the average size of fish found inside a dead cormorant is 7 cm and the average number of fish is about 20 then the number of fish per day saved will probably be more like 1,600 in exchange for the loss of 8 cormorants.
Besides all of that if shooting does not work then why protect them?
The second and most outrageous claim is that these cormorants, (carbo sinesis) are merely recolonising areas that they inhabited in previous centuries, and that these birds were hunted to extinction in the UK by gamekeepers and fishermen etc.
This claim is not provable, they have never produced any evidence or data to support it because they can't.
Think about this one for a minute, if these birds were present then they would have been widespread throughout the UK and for this claim to be true then every single bird would have had to have been shot, every single nest destroyed, on every single lake and river in the whole of the country. How likely is this to have been possible let alone to have happened ?
When about 12 of these cormorants first appeared at Abberton near Colchester in 1981 some of them were DNA tested to try to discover from where they had originated. This testing was not done by a an angling organization it was done by English Nature, also some other work was also done by DR Stuart Piertney from The University of Aberdeen. There is information on his work at WWW.abdn.ac.uk/zoology/moleco/cormoran.htm. The page is entitled "Big greedy British cormorants: Where do they come from?
It was discovered that these original birds had come from Denmark! over 400 miles away, not France, Holland or Belgium which are much nearer. These freshwater birds one day just decided to fly 400 miles across the open sea with no resting place, no landmarks, and most importantly no previous records of having made this flight and just happened to arrive at a nature reserve in Essex where they made their home. How likely is this?
I think that it is far more likely that these birds arrived on a ferry in the back of somebody's car, possibly still as eggs. This would have been a criminal act of introducing an alien species to a country where they had not previously existed and where they have no natural predators, as with other alien introductions they would decimate other local wildlife. This is exactly what is happening.
Next time you are faced with cormorants on your water stealing your fish, the fish that feed many other birds that were not illegally introduced and are very important bird species then consider this:
We are not legally allowed to controll cormorants, this would be a "wild bird crime" and the RSPB would seek to prosecute. How about the RSPB use their investigator's to find out how these birds arrived here in the first place. In my opinion a far bigger "wild bird crime" was committed by the persons that bought these cormorants here.
There is no proof of this evidence, it is circumstantial, however the birdwatchers also cannot prove otherwise.
English Nature told the Christchurch AC that there was no such thing as a license to shoot cormorants, so there is no point trying to talk to them.
English Nature are one of the organisations that may have to be consulted when you apply for a license to shoot these birds.
I agree that within the last 30 years there has been an increase in habitat for these birds with new gravel pits being dug etc.
It is also obvious that these birds are here to stay, they could no more be removed now than they could have been 150 years ago but the present situation is not good for our wildlife weather it be fish or birds.
There is presently a problem in France with American Bullfrogs some of which were introduced into the country 40 years ago. They have no natural predators in France (in the US their numbers are controlled by Alligators) and these frogs are causing massive problems to the local wildlife, in some areas wiping out all of the local frogs and fish. Does this ring any bells yet?
We no longer have any Red Squirrel's on most of the mainland UK because somebody introduced the Grey ones.
A compromise has to be reached because the present situation is most unsatisfactory for both anglers and birdwatchers alike. The birdwatchers do not want the illegal killing of cormorants to continue and they can't possibly wish for there to be a massive decline in the numbers of herons, kingfishers, grebes, otters etc. and for there to be many many starving cormorants. The anglers do not want to loose all of their fish especially the irreplaceable river fish (you can't buy large roach and chub from fish dealers,) not to mention some of the endangered species of fish that are in the UK.
If you are an angler and you are reading this then you should be very very angry about these birds and whoever introduced them.
If you are a member of a bird watching organization then you should be asking serious questions at your reserve as to weather these birds should continue to be encouraged.
Don't for one moment think that these birds are not going to affect wildlife other than just fish.