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Parliamentary questions
PDF 40kWORD 18k
14 October 2019
Question for written answer E-003275-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Teuvo Hakkarainen (ID)

 Subject:  Limiting cormorant populations
 Answer in writing 

Cormorants are a source of trouble and harm all across Europe. Their rapid population growth has caused many kinds of problems.

Their diet is largely based on herring, roach and perch, which in turn decreases the quantities caught by professional fishermen.

Cormorants nest in large colonies of thousands and even tens of thousands of birds, which results in a significant amount of faeces. The strongly alkaline constitution of the faeces is deadly to trees and vegetation, and its smell can be detected from several hundred meters away.

It also soils natural waters, beaches, islets, islands and buildings. As a result, cormorants can also cause financial damage to owners of recreational residences.

The Birds Directive protects the cormorant. Member States may, however, authorise activities aimed at restricting their population growth. However, this disturbance only has a temporary effect, as it only moves the problem from one location to another.

Protection hunting and oil spraying the eggs are the most effective measures available.

However, receiving authorisation is much more difficult and slower in Finland than it is in, for example, Sweden or Denmark.

Could the cormorant be moved to Annex II of the Birds Directive, which would place it within the scope of national hunting legislation?

If Annex II of the directive remains as is, could the Commission give more effective information and guidance to those Member States which are following the directive very strictly, such as Finland, on the flexibility and decision-making power of Member States that the directive allows for, while still working within the boundaries of the directive?

Original language of question: FI 
Last updated: 29 October 2019Legal notice