Save Our Carp!

The Formation of the Predation Action Group

There is a growing feeling of concern in angling circles; particularly among those anglers concerned with salmon, barbel, carp and specialist fishing regarding the impact of predation by signal crayfish, cormorants, otters and, possibly to a lesser extent, mink on fish stocks in this country.
There is a consensus that over the last 15 years the impact of cormorants on small fish in lakes and rivers has been significant. Historically otters’ main food sources have been small fish in rivers, but that food source has been seriously depleted by the impact of cormorants. As a result, otters have started to look elsewhere for their food supplies and there is a growing body of evidence that their diet increasingly includes large, valuable specimen fish, including salmon, carp and barbel. The feeling is that it is no coincidence that the impact of otters has coincided with the policy of rearing them in captivity and releasing them into the wild, with little or no regard for a prior assessment of the food sources available to them.

Following a series of public and private meetings between interested parties the Predation Action Group has been formed. At this stage the aims of the group are simply to make a serious study of the impact of predators on fish stocks with a view to preparing a report on the subject. The Action Group needs support on two fronts, firstly in terms of reports from anyone who has suffered at the hands (claws or beaks) of predators, and secondly in terms of financial support. Hopefully the Action Group will be able to put together a strong enough case to convince higher authorities that predators are indeed having a serious impact on fish stocks and that the future of angling in some locations is under threat. If you feel you can help then we need to hear from you. This is a serious issue and one which needs addressing urgently.
The committee representing the Predator Action Group consists of: Chairman, Danny Fairbrass, Mike Heylin of the Angling Trust, plus Ruth Lockwood of ECHO, John Wilson MBE, Martin Bowler, Keith Wesley, Chris Logsdon, John Slader of the Salmon and Trout Association, Tony Gibson, Martin Read, Dave Goodwin and Press Officer Tim Paisley.
You can communicate with the Predation Action Group via email at: info@predationactiongroup.co.uk or by post at: Predation Action Group PO Box 6313, Essex SS14 0HW.
All communications will be treated in confidence, if requested, but it is essential that we gather as much scientific and anecdotal material as possible about the impact of predators to enable us to prepare a comprehensive report for submission to the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency and Government departments. There is a growing body of evidence that predators are killing angling. If you can help by presenting scientific or anecdotal evidence, including pictures, or giving financial support then please get in touch with us.

As you can see from our first press release the Predation Action Group is a collection of very passionate anglers, some high profile like myself and some highly experienced yet lesser known anglers who have worked and fought for anglers rights for many years, not for recognition but simply for the love of their sport.
Often fighting for all anglers is a thankless task, many simply turn the other cheek if 'its not affecting me'. Well I am here to say that apathy has to stop if we are to win the fight against otter, mink, crayfish and cormorant predation.

I don't fish for small fish but I remember how much I enjoyed it, it got me into fishing and without roach, tench, crucians and eels I wouldn't have got where I am today. Not only does this type of fishing turn loads of anglers on but it’s also the way kids get into the sport, so for me cormorants are just as much a threat as otters. So I ask ALL carp anglers to join with me in supporting this fight.

I need detailed accounts of any known otter and cormorant predation, the venue, numbers and size of fish killed or eaten and the impact that has had on the fishery, has it had to restock at great expense, put up fences also at huge cost or it may have even had to shut down! All this info helps us build a dossier to present to government to get the law changed so anglers can protect the fish they love! Without your accounts we are dead in the water, if you excuse the pun!

I am building a site to display and store all this information to inspire more and more people to come forward. Do not fear, letting us know what's happened on your water is not going to mean it’s infested with nosey EA bailiffs, the fact they are taking little or no notice at the moment is half the problem. So please provide your info and if you want we will keep it a secret until it’s time to challenge the politicians.

The site still needs to be built so if you are a web site constructor and want to offer your expertise free of charge then e mail us on the new address info@predationactiongroup.co.uk. The same address should be used for all your accounts, please put your name and phone number with them so we can call if we need extra info. Alternatively send a hard copy to Predation Action Group, PO box 6313, Basildon, Essex, SS14 0HW.

Fish are dying right now, so please act, right now!

Tight lines

Danny Fairbrass