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Predator control on finfish farms
Howell, D.L.; Munford, J.G. (1992). Predator control on finfish farms, in: De Pauw, N. et al. (Ed.) Aquaculture and the Environment: reviews of the International Conference Aquaculture Europe '91, Dublin, Ireland, June 10-12, 1991. EAS Special Publication, 16: pp. 339-364
In: De Pauw, N.; Joyce, J. (Ed.) (1992). Aquaculture and the Environment: reviews of the International Conference Aquaculture Europe '91, Dublin, Ireland, June 10-12, 1991. EAS Special Publication, 16. European Aquaculture Society: Gent, Belgium. ISBN 90-71625-10-9. 536 pp., more
In: EAS Special Publication. European Aquaculture Society, more

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings [14633]
Document type: Conference paper


Authors  Top 
  • Howell, D.L.
  • Munford, J.G.

    This paper reviews the problems caused by bird and mammal predators at marine and freshwater finfish farms. It reflects the experience the authors have of the situation in Scotland but refers to studies from elsewhere in Britain and Europe where appropriate. The principal predator species encountered in Scotland are listed and for each species the mode and symptoms of attack are described. Careful site selection to ensure fish farms are located away from high concentrations of fish-eating species reduces the possibility of stock losses through predation. Where problems are encountered, correct identification of the predator species responsible is the essential first step in formulating a control strategy. Fish losses (numbers and economic costs) should also be carefully evaluated to maximize the cost-effectiveness of predator control measures. Non-destructive methods of predator control (deterrents and exclusion nets ) have met with some success in Scotland and a range of techniques and materials is described. If predator problems persist despite the use of non-destructive control techniques, fish farmers often attempt to locally reduce predator numbers through shooting. Studies of vertebrate pest control in agriculture and forestry suggest that killing predators on fish farms will at best have a limited and localized short-term benefit. Although the principal predator species involved are, to a greater or lesser extent, protected by law, some fish farmers in Scotland have used shooting as an integral part of their predator control strategy. The implications of relevant legislation are briefly discussed. Fish farmers attempting to reduce predator damage are urged to seek advice and information from conservation organizations, regulatory agencies, and fish farming colleagues. In Scotland, fish farming and nature conservation bodies have together produced guidelines for preventing stock losses to fish-eating birds and mammals. This approach may be worth adopting elsewhere in Europe, as it has the dual benefit of disseminating information on predator control techniques and encouraging the fish farming industry and nature conservation interests to seek common ground and minimize the potential for conflict.

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