Major angling, fisheries, shooting and countryside organisations have joined forces to call for cormorants and goosanders to be added to the General Licence.

The group, which includes BASC, the Salmon & Trout Association and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, says that fishery managers must be allowed greater freedom to control bird numbers without expensive and time-consuming red tape.

Angling Trust chief executive Mark Lloyd presented a statement signed by all 11 organisations to DEFRA minister Richard Benyon, whose department is currently undertaking a review into the licensing of control of fish-eating birds.

Veteran wildlife film-maker Hugh Miles, speaking on behalf of the group, said: ?I have been studying and filming aquatic wildlife for the past 40 years and I am a passionate bird lover and lifelong member of the RSPB.

?I have witnessed in that time the huge growth in the number of cormorants and goosanders and the impact they have had on fish populations. ?Respect for our fish for their own sakes is long overdue, let alone as a vital part of our freshwater ecosystems. Without fish, the decline of our rivers and lakes and their wildlife could be disastrous.?

The rest of this article appears in the 4th July issue of Shooting Times.

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