11-05-2022 16:45
Public hearing on Cormorant problematic affecting EU fisheries and aquaculture

Cormorant eating a fish
Cormorant © Image used under the license from Adobe stock

In many European regions, increasing cormorant populations (Phalacrocorax carbo) are putting pressure on fisheries, aquaculture and biodiversity with heavy economic and social impacts for fishers and fish farmers.

Cormorants are protected under the "Birds Directive" 2009/147/EC. As such their management can only be permitted under very strict conditions. While the legal framework affords Member States the flexibility to derogate from the strict protection, in practice cormorant management is a complex, legally uncertain and expensive exercise, shifting on economic operators such as fishers and fish farmers the costs of dealing with ever-growing cormorant populations.
Since 2008 the European Commission has refused to set up an EU wide management plan, as requested by Parliament, with dire consequences for aquaculture operators, fisheries and threatened fish species.