The European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee wants Brussels to immediately remove the endangered cormorant’s status. “There are now so many that some fish species are threatened,” says Annie Schreijer-Pierik (CDA) in AD.
But what about that? “This apparent contradiction of interests between hunters and cormorants is as old as the road to Kralingen,” says Minopart van Erden. He should know: He’s been hunting cormorants for Rijkswaterstaat for 40 years. Every month, he flies a Cessna over the IJsselmeer to count the population.
Discussion over and over again about fish-eating cormorants
Van Eerden participated in several European studies because there were concerns about black-winged fish eaters. “What about rare species? Is there an overgrowth of cormorants? That’s what they wanted to know in Brussels.”
This turns out not to be the case, says Van Erden. “Then such a discussion arises again. And then I think: Why is any further research, making me feel a little despairing now and then, and then I think we’re still reading in this country or are we just screaming?”
In AD Annie Schreijer-Pierik sounds the alarm. Cormorants in the Ijsselminer region eat 9 tons of fish daily. A simple calculation shows that the situation is different: according to SOVON’s bird counters, there are an average of 10,000 cormorants in the IJsselmeer region. Researcher Kasper van Leeuwen of Radboud University estimated that cormorants eat about 500 grams of fish per day. Which amount to a total of 5 tons.
Rejecting a vulnerable situation is a bad idea, according to Minopart van Erden: “The IJsselmeer cormorants are now at the 1975-1980 level. Then they peaked in 1993, when there were 15,000 breeding pairs. Now there are 3,000 pairs. Nature has been in decline for a while. Long. It’s not really that we’re in an emergency.”
“Envy and Hate”
The question then arises, what is the competition with hunters. That’s also a nuance: 70 percent of his diet is made up of pos, a type of perch that humans don’t eat. In this sense, there is no competition with the hunter. However, the controversy between hunter and cormorant is of all time.
Van Eerden: “Cormorants have no color with it, and the beak of the hook does not get along with it. It is an intelligent hunter, it can dive 15-20 meters, it hunts in groups, they follow each other in the best spots. You can imagine that there is respect at least among the hunters. But Often this is respect and hatred. And this is as old as the road to Kralingen.”
In fact or fiction at EenVandaag on NPO Radio 1, Lammert finds out if MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik’s claims about cormorants are true.
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