Gallery: Otters simply looking for easy dinner

Otters playing

Otters playing - Credit: Margaret Holland

A NATURE lover with a soft spot for the otter, which is thriving as a result of improved water quality.

There are concerns that otters are depleting fish stocks and even sneaking into gardens to poach fish from ponds.

Brian Holland, of Ipswich, said: “The improvement in water quality has enhanced the aquatic wildlife so that salmon and sea trout now migrate up many of river that hitherto were unsuitable because of pollution. There they spawn and start a new generation.

“Yes otters take a fair share of these migratory and other fish but then that is their diet along with their favoured choice of eels and lamprey.”

River fish may be seen as fair game in what is the wonderful world of nature, but when otters raid domestic fishponds or, worse, fisheries, it can be seen as a step too far.

Mr Holland admitted this could be ruinous for fishery owners but defending his beloved otters he explained that there is a growing demand for food at all levels.

He continued: “All wildlife will seek the easy option under these increasing pressures. Rubbish bins and throw way food packaging provide an easy source of food for the foxes while fisheries and domestic fish ponds an excellent and easy source of food for otters.

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“This in no way diminished the angst of the person with expensive Koi carp who realises his prize fish have provided meal for otters but I think a cold look at the facts and reasons will show that the fault is not entirely that of either the otter or the fox but the impositions upon them placed by thoughtless human decisions and the problems will continue to escalate.”

He claims that building on green land is diminishing the countryside and further cutting back on food sources for creatures like the otter.

Mr Holland and his wife, Margaret, visit wildlife hotspots up and down the country, allowing Mrs Holland to capture some our most amazing creatures in action - see our gallery, top right.