Policy paper

Impacts of predation by fish-eating birds on inland fisheries

This publication was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This paper sets out the scope and timeframes for an evidence led review on policy of controlling predation on inland fisheries.



This paper sets out the terms of reference, scope and timeframes for an evidence led review of Defra‟s current policy in relation to controlling the impact of predation on inland fisheries and fish farms from fish-eating birds, and, specifically, in relation to the threat of serious damage caused by cormorants, goosanders and red-breasted mergansers.

The review will invite evidence and expert opinion in order to ensure policy continues to be based upon the best available evidence and is robust and fit for purpose. Defra officials from the Biodiversity Programme will lead the review with expert advice from its nature conservation advisors (including Natural England which is the licensing authority for the control of fish eating birds, Cefas and Fera) and through close working with those individuals and organisations that have a strong interest in the outcomes of the review, particularly the Angling Trust and the RSPB.

A four phase approach to conducting the review will be adopted:

  1. evidence and data gathering
  2. analysis and assessment (including advice to Defra Ministers as whether evidence indicates public consultation is appropriate)
  3. public consultation (if required based on outputs of phase 2)
  4. reporting and recommendations