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Development of a procedural framework for action plans to reconcile conflicts between the conservation of large vertebrates and the use of biological resources: fisheries and fish-eating vertebrates as a model case

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Cormorants demand new legislation

Ecosystems and their wildlife are all interrelated and connected and our governmental bodies need to accommodate this fact in any conservation policy. As such, thanks to an EC funded research project, FRAP, a new governmental body is now in place that can better coordinate man's activities relating to ecosystem exploitation and sustainability.

Climate Change and Environment

An old expression, "kill a beetle to starve a bear" expresses how each part of an ecosystem has a direct - and important link to one another. In a similar manner, research has shown that passing laws on one aspect of the environment without considering its impact on other facets of the situation may not be the best thing. Legislative bodies must therefore consider and tackle the problem from all sides. The new governmental body established, refers to and incorporates members from a wide variety of activities and interests. These range from hunters, anglers, ornithologists and animal welfare and local managers, to name a few. One such example of their activity involves the cormorant - a large, dark-coloured long-necked seabird. By nature the cormorant is a voracious animal, greedily eating everything it finds. The impact this species has on the food chain is enormous and, being both a land and sea-based creature, any legislation affecting it had to be carefully assessed. For the land conservationist the cormorant presents a particular problem as they nest in cliffs or trees, the latter being destroyed by the cormorant droppings. For fishermen, the cormorant is often seen as a threat, due to their ravenous appetites. Preserving the balance between cormorant, the fishing industry and woodland habitat as well as ensuring sustainability is a matter that involves all three elements. The new legislative body, in consulting with all stakeholders and interested parties intends to formulate effective laws that not only ensure everyone's interests, but also preserve the environment. Doing so, will help to provide effective cormorant management in the future.

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