A study of some fish-eating birds is being carried out in one of the most popular fishing destinations in the Scottish Borders.

After a fall in salmon numbers on the River Tweed some birds will be killed for research.

The move is being brought in to allow scientists to study the bird's diet and how they affect fish stocks.

The Tweed is one of four major rivers undergoing a study of what types of fish Cormorants and Goosanders eat at different times of the year.

Fishing on the River Tweed generates around :


a year for the local economy.

Cormorant Credit: PA

The RSPB say the cull has not been approved and say they are worried other factors affecting fish numbers in the River Tweed have not been considered.

"We have only just been made aware of this particular licence to kill wild birds on the Tweed, which was issued without any wider consultation. We are concerned by any indication that the results of the study are being prejudged or that other factors affecting salmon numbers are not being considered, and have urgently contacted SNH for details of the licence. Once we have had an opportunity to review that information, we will be able to comment further."

Spokesperson from RSPB