Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP has set out the timetable to review the current licensing regime for cormorants. Defra has also published on its web site 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 be split into four broad phases:
– Phase 1 Data and Evidence Gathering for Public Consultation Exercise
– Phase 2 Analysis and Assessment (including advice to Defra Ministers as whether evidence indicates public consultation is appropriate)
– Phase 3 Public consultation (if necessary)
– Phase 4 Reporting
It is anticipated a final report and recommendations to Defra Ministers will be made in early 2012.
Following consideration of the recommendations by Defra Ministers an announcement of the outcome of the review will be made in spring 2012. Owing to the timeframe of the review it is unlikely any significant changes will be made.