Avian predation of fisheries in the UK has reached epic proportions during the last decade, in particular, that which is caused by increased inland populations of Cormorants.
This has lead to a severe shortage of structured year classes and biomass amongst riverine species, which, historically, are the preferred prey of our native mammalian predators like the Otter. Increasingly, Otters are seeking their prey in what would not usually be their natural hunting grounds; still-waters, carp waters, fish farms, and even garden ponds containing valuable koi carp and ornamental fish.
Increased predation of fish populations not only effects fishery owners and their businesses but also has broader implications for wildlife and biodiversity by unbalancing the food chain.
Research by CEFAS has shown that fish refuge structures can substantially reduce cormorant visits and fish losses to avian predation. Aquamaintain ltd supply fish refuge islands, designed to protect the 3-8″ (75-200mm) fish preferred by cormorants and other predatory birds. Our islands can be easily modified to provide refuge for larger fish if required.
Protective fencing is now widely accepted as the only legal, humane solution to preventing otter predation. We have experience in both designing and installing effective systems of otter fencing to protect fish stocks for future generations.