Place Great Black cormorants under general licence so there numbers can be reduced by 50%

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As a fishing enthusiast I have become increasingly aware and concerned about the growing population of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) which I regularly observe on inland fresh water rivers, reservoirs, lakes and ponds feeding on freshwater fish.

I believe the numbers of Cormorants has increased considerably over the past 8 years since the last survey was conducted and that these birds which should be feeding at sea are increasing because they have found a much easier food source in land.

Game fishers see cormorants as a serious threat to there sport because the number of birds exceeds the numbers of fish being stocked. Salmon smolt, sea trout and brown trout are all high value game fish to the local economy as angling brings in €836 million to Ireland’s economy annually, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs.

Salmon and Sea Trout are in serious decline mainly due to man made factors such as salmon farms, commercial netting and global warming. If the smolt in our rivers are being heavily targeted by displaced predators such as Cormorant, salmon numbers will drastically and further decline.

In addition course anglers have noted a drastic decline in the numbers of wild course fish because of the numbers of cormorants now found on all inland fisheries. It is widely accepted that we want our youth to be outside enjoying the countryside and that all pleasure fishing numbers are in decline which will continue if less fish can be caught year on year.

We are requesting that the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment Ireland allow for the localised culling of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) under general licence.

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