LETTER: Fence is essential to protect carp
I read with interest your feature regarding proposals to build an otter fence around the village pit at Manea.
To maintain apex predators is extremely irresponsible and the widespread reintroduction of otters has had a catastrophic effect on the ecosystem.
Otters have decimated the waterfowl population in some areas by eating eggs and chicks whilst at the same time a huge number of fisheries in the UK have been completely wiped out by otters.
Many fishery owners have found their entire specimen carp stock dead on the bank side with just the carp’s throat eaten - the only part of a large carp that otters usually eat.
Considering large specimen carp can take many years to grow to 40lb in weight and be worth thousands of pounds it is no surprise that like at Manea angling syndicates wish to erect anti otter fences.
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Cliff Carson, environmental officer with the Middle Level Commissioners states he is in favour of the fence at Manea pit having seen otters killed in illegally placed nets - I own a carp fishery near Whittlesey and was shocked to discover a couple of years ago that Cliff Carson had built an otter holt in close proximity to my lake without even having the courtesy to notify me of it or recommend that I erect an anti otter fence.
Surely common sense would dictate that anyone building otter holts for the Middle Level Commissioners should be informing fishery owners nearby of an otter risk to their fish stocks so that preventative measures such as fencing can be taken.
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For Fenland District Councillor Mark Buckton to say the natural beauty of the Manea pit would be ruined “for the sake of keeping a few fisherman happy” simply shows that he is completely ignorant of the situation at hand. An otter fence will protect the fish stock in Manea pit for future generations of locals to enjoy whilst also protecting the waterfowl breeding sites around the lake.
Local Manea residents may be worried that an anti otter fence will spoil the openness of the village pit and make it harder to access but surely that’s preferable to walking around a lake littered with rotting dead carp - otters have decimated many fisheries in the region and unless an anti otter fence is erected it is only a matter of time before Manea pit faces the same fate.