|Fisherman - photo David Miller|
When are this minority of the public going to understand that these birds are not "damaging fish stocks" it is what they do. Unlike us where game fish are a luxury for the few, they have to eat fish to stay alive. In other words they should come first. These birds and many other species have been eating fish for thousands of years and because of the predator prey relationship there is always sufficient for both to survive. It is only fishermen who interfere with this balance.
|Pair of Goosanders|
Now I have nothing against fishermen who go out to get a few trout, salmon or sea trout on the Tywi. I know many of these people and they are happy to observe the extraordinary wildlife around them as they fish. They find that all part of the experience. What I do object to is those who call for the slaughter of our wildlife to further their hobby or sport as some call it without any scientific back up for their actions. In the article it is stated that these birds eat one to two pound of fish a day. I would not argue with that but where do they get the figure of 1,000 tonnes from and is that for Carmarthenshire or the UK.
|Otter on the Tywi River|
Through the Angling Trust these ignorant people are lobbying for relaxing the licences for killing these birds. I hope the many more conservationists and wildlife fanatics will similarly lobby for maintaining the status quo. In the Tywi Valley fishermen are a minority and must remember that far more people really enjoy watching Goosanders on the river. How long will it be before these people turn their attention Otters or even Kingfishers? No you chaps are going to have to enjoy your fishing alongside the wildlife that is being restored at a great cost to wildlife charities and indeed the public purse. If you care protest at every opportunity the killing of wildlife for financial gain.