A response by the Carp Society
In line with all other angling groups the Carp Society is aware of and concerned about the effect predation from a range of species is having on our sport. This results in us wishing to work with, and support, the work of the Predation Action Group, as we recognise and support the work being done by them.This small voluntary organisation needs the support of all anglers.
We also recognise that the Carp Society’s lack of political involvement and declining membership in the recent past has required the PAG to step up and act on behalf of carp and specialist angling. We thank them for the support they are giving to angling, in trying to respond to current issues. We are however, less enthusiastic about the recent statements and conditions on the Natural England web site alerting angling groups and clubs on the “license to capture and transport otters trapped in fisheries to prevent damage.” The license will allow fisheries that are deemed to be suitably fenced to apply for a license to trap an otter inside the fence, and release it outside. We realise this is a very complex issue, and one that is difficult to resolve.
The view of the Carp Society is that whilst the granting of such a license may provide a solution to the fenced water involved, it will, put quite simply, just increase the level of predation for unfenced and often unfence-able still waters and river systems nearby. It is also clear to anyone taking the time to read the full conditions relating to the license that there is no provision for action to be taken in the event of the otter avoiding capture, which could result in the total decimation of the fishery, even though the owner had done everything they could to protect stocks by erecting a fence in the first place. Something the Carp Society is fully aware of having already invested £70,000 + to protect our Horseshoe and Farriers fisheries from otters.
The Carp Society firmly believes there is a very strong case to be made for licenses to be granted for unfenced and unfence-able still- waters, in line for those for fenced fisheries, with an option for all trapped otters to be rehoused in sanctuaries, where they cannot continue to damage fisheries and effect the livelihood, income and life styles of fishery owners and clubs.
As an organisation we are committed to return to the political arena of angling, and intend to do everything in our power to reasonably support and put this view to the various groups and organisations involved. As an organisation we are a member of Angling Trust, and will continue to be represented at the Freshwater Specialist Angling Committee.
In summary, whilst the Carp Society recognises the huge effort that has been made by the PAG and UKOWT [UK Otter Wildlife Trust] to reach the current situation there is still a very long way to go. We need your support in helping to bring about a resolution to the biggest issue facing angling today. To support information- gathering relating to predation we will be adding a “Predation Report” section to our soon- to- be- released, updated, web site. Please take a look and help us to gather information to support the work we are trying to do.
Derek Stritton, Chairman, on behalf of the Carp Society