In order to limit the damage that cormorants cause to the fishing industry, the government has decided to become more active in its efforts to limit the population of the aquatic bird.
The number of cormorants has risen considerably in Denmark in recent years. They are prone to devouring massive amounts of salmon and trout, easily out-competing local fisherman.
“It won’t do for the cormorant to use the Danish coasts and fjords as a lunch box,” said the environment and food minister, Espen Lunde Larsen.
“We have figures that show that a cormorant can eat half of the salmon that migrate through Ringkøbing Fjord during the spring. There is need for more active regulation to ensure the foundation for a strong fishing industry and better potential for fishing tourism along Denmark’s coasts, streams and waterways.”
Previously, the cormorants have favoured coastal fishing, but in recent years the voracious birds have been spotted eating fish fingerling far up into the waterways.
The new plan, set to come into effect on July 1, means that the period for shooting cormorants will not only be extended beyond August 1-March 31, but also expanded to include the areas where the bird roosts.
Currently, there are about 31,000 cormorant pairs in Denmark.
Darting back to Jutland
In related news, Jutland has seen the return of the white-faced darter for the first time in almost 80 years.
The little dragonfly has been absent from the Jutland landscape since its last sighting in 1937, but was spotted by a local amateur biologist in Guldsted Plantage near Herning over the weekend.
In a bid to get the darter to better settle in Jutland, the nature authorities Naturstyrelsen hope to map sightings of the insect. It is forbidden to capture or kill it.
The insects prefer to hang out by smaller lakes, sun-warmed tree trunks, branches and swamp plants.