§ Sir Cranley Onslow
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the number of cormorants in England and Wales during each of the years 1991–92, 1992–93 and 1993–94; how many licences to shoot cormorants in the interests of the protection of inland fisheries were issued by his Department in each of those years; and how many birds are known to have been shot under these licences.453W
§ Mrs. Browning
No figures are readily available of the number of cormorants in England and Wales during each of the last three years. However, a report by the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology estimates that the population of cormorants over-wintering in Britain has been increasing at a rate of 4 per cent. per year and currently stands at approximately 20,000 birds. Research on the population and distribution of cormorants is a part of the research and development programme currently being discussed by this Department and the Department of the Environment.
Details of the number of licences granted by this Department in England and the number of birds shot under licence are as follows:
Year Number of licences issued Number of cormorants shot under licence 1991 3 18 1992 4 13 1993 20 72 1994 30 128 1 Some licences extend into 1995. The figure given is for the number of birds shot up to 31 December 1994.