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 Invasive non-native fish investigation at Devon fishery

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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Invasive non-native fish investigation at Devon fishery   Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:25 pm

The Environment Agency is currently carrying out an investigation into an allegation that Clawford Vineyard Fishery, Devon, has been keeping prohibited non native fish.

The investigation began after it was brought to the Agency’s attention that the owners of this fishery advertised they had Fathead Minnow (also known as Rosy Red Minnow), an invasive species, in their lakes.

During the investigation, no Fathead Minnows were found, but Topmouth Gudgeon, another illegal invasive fish species, was discovered. This fish is classified as a non-native species of ‘high’ risk under the Import of Live Fish Act 1980 (ILFA).
It poses a serious risk to the species and habitats in the nearby River Claw, a tributary of the River Tamar, should it escape or be accidentally transferred from this fishery.

Working on behalf of DEFRA, who is also funding the operation, the Environment Agency are the enforcing authority for the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 (SAFFA) and the Import of Live Fish Act 1980 (ILFA) which regulate the movement and keeping of fish.

'The operation at Clawford Vineyard Fishery is part of a wider National programme to eradicate a range of high risk invasive non-native fish species, including the Topmouth Gudgeon,’ said Matt Brazier, Non-native Species Technical Advisor for the Environment Agency.
'Invasive non-native fish species represent a serious threat to our native flora and fauna and where required the Agency will take appropriate action, to regulate, manage, contain and if necessary eradicate them from our waters.'

Before the eradication was carried out at Clawford the larger native fish were removed and held in quarantine. The eradication, which involved the use of an organic 'piscicide' is now nearing completion, and the Agency will continue to work closely with the fishery owners to ensure the safe return of the native fish stocks so that business can resume as soon as possible.

If you are concerned about any invasive non-native fish in your area the Environment Agency would like to hear from you, contact Gareth Davies, National Fisheries Technical Services on 01480 483878.
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