International Otter Survival Fund news release
Everyone knows that otters eat fish and there have been many reports that numbers of these animals has been increasing. Is this really bad news for fishermen?
On the positive side the presence of otters shows that our rivers and waterways are now much cleaner which is also good news for fish. On the other hand, if there are more otters will they have a serious effect on fish numbers? Is there something which can be done to stop otters raiding fish ponds? Should otter numbers be controlled?
These are questions which are concerning many people involved in fishing and also those who welcome the return of otters. Not all fishermen have an “anti-otter” attitude and it is important to work together so that otters and fishermen can co-exist.
The International Otter Survival Fund is holding a one day conference on Otters and Fisheries in Edinburgh on Wednesday 7 November. Delegates and speakers will come from all interested parties and those with experience in otter mitigation at fisheries in the UK and Europe. The aim is to bring everyone together to provide accurate information on otters and their impact on fisheries and also to provide practical advice and solutions to problems. It is hoped that many representatives of the fishery community, including fisheries trusts, fish farmers, koi carp keepers and anglers, will attend.
At the end of the conference, representatives will be invited on to a Working Group and recommendations will be drawn up for further work to be carried out by the Group based on co-operation between otter scientists and fisheries. Proceedings will be produced for distribution to delegates but they will also be made available through the IOSF website for the wider public and through various fishery websites.
Topics covered will include the following but there will be plenty of time available for discussion:
Otters: Otter ecology, population numbers and distribution, past and present
Legal protection of otters
Other threats to fish stocks: Environmental damage to rivers including water extraction and pollution
Drought conditions in parts of the UK
Other predators (mink, herons, cormorants, etc) and invasive species
Fishery concerns: Anglers
Koi carp keepers
Mitigation: Practical measures to protect fish stocks
Working with otters rather than against them – an example of encouraging wildlife (including otters) at a Scottish fishery
Possible compensation schemes as used in parts of mainland Europe
To find out more about the conference or to book contact email@example.com