AT A recent Countryside Alliance angling conference, one key message emerged from the representatives cormorants are destroying our fisheries.

Fifty thousand cormorants are now wintering in the UK and predating our native small, silver fish stocks.

This black plague' can also carry the ligula tapeworm from fish population to fish population, a problem highlighted in the House of Lords.

This is not just about angling, but also about our river and lake environments that support a huge diversity of wildlife from water boatmen to kingfishers. It calls for a realistic cormorant management programme before they become uncontrollable.

The Campaign for Angling will be working towards a consensus with both Government and the RSPB to agree the need for realistic measures to ensure that this interloper does not continue to rape our water of vital stocks.

We must take responsibility for seeking a solution and I urge all anglers to support a realistic look by Government at the impact these birds are having.

Charles Jardine, Countryside Alliance Campaign for Angling, London.