The purpose of the act is to protect species that are useful to humans for food, were harmless or controlled pest.

"So they are certainly not in any competition with any commercial fishery," he said. "They might eat a few smolts around the mouth of a salmon river, but there's not enough cormorants around to make any kind of dent in this population."

"Their numbers are attached to suitable prey, and it takes a lot of ocean floor to keep one cormorant," he said. "You'll never see their population in the millions or hundreds of thousands, they sort of just reoccupying their little niche."

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When they do move in, he said, cormorants aren't aggressive towards other bird species.

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Unlike turr colonies, he said, their colony changes and they move around a lot, searching out suitable food sources.

While there is no exact count that definitively says cormorants are on the rise, Jones is under the impression that they are generally increasing in numbers. He cites reduced hunting pressure and available food sources as contributors.

While large, cormorants are shallow water feeders, feasting mainly on sculpins, blennies, small flounder and other bottom fish that are not commercial.

"The only thing they have in common is they are coloured black. The act was put in place 1916 and they chose not to protect these blackbirds. It's a bit strange, but it's a part of history," Jones said. "When Newfoundland and Labrador became a part of Canada, we became subject to the act. So these restrictions and non restrictions became appropriate to the province."

Which is why they may have found their way to the Northern Peninsula.

"But the main reason, I believe, is that a bunch of birds arrived, found good shallow areas, nesting activities haven't been harassed and have decided to move in," he said. "They might just disappear in a couple of years without any explanation. It's an interesting aspect of their biology."

Without any protection, and because they eat fish, cormorants became a target.

"Their nesting habitat doesn't really overlap with nesting habits of any other species. They like to nest on broad ledges on cliffs. Sometimes they'll nest on cliffs that have turrs," he said. "They are not Canada Goose Chilliwack Bomber Ireland Sale aggressive in the sense of displacing other species from their breeding sites."

Further to his argument, Jones says there's no scientific evidence saying cormorants have in any way affected wild fish stocks.

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"They dive into the shoals and use their long bills to probe the cracks and crevices for food. I don't like the term, but it's often called 'trash' fish," he said. "They certainly eat caplin if it's in abundance around their area, but they don't follow them around. If there's a school coming through their area they'll certainly eat them."

But under the list of unprotected birds were cormorants, crows, starlings and the American blackbird.

Game birds such as ducks were protected, with the exception of seasons and bag limits. Other birds such as robins, and other typical birds were protected.

But the species will never grow to a point where it can't maintain itself.

Before Newfoundland and Labrador entered Confederation with Canada, there was a treaty called the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, signed by Canada and the United States in 1916.