Patrols crackdown on illegal fishing

The fisheries patrol boat 'Shearwater'.
The fisheries patrol boat 'Shearwater'.

Two illegal fishing nets used by poachers were recovered during a crackdown by officers.

During boat patrols, Environment Agency officers checked eight vessels and recovered two abandoned illegal nets.

The fisheries patrol boat ‘Shearwater’ carried out enforcement and regulatory patrols on the commercial salmon and sea trout fishery off the north east coast.

During patrols, eight licensed vessels were checked between Sunderland and Blyth, with all compliant.

At the River Wear estuary, two illegal nets which had been abandoned were recovered, and will be destroyed.

One of the nets had caught a sea bird which subsequently died, showing the indiscriminate nature of illegal nets and the damage caused to the environment by poaching.

The fisheries enforcement team joined forces with other Environment Agency teams for patrols meaning Shearwater is also used for sampling and monitoring of fish stocks and diversity across the region, as well as for enforcement.

Kevin Summerson, the Environment Agency’s fisheries technical specialist at Northumberland, Durham and Tees, said: “This was a successful patrol which showed by teams working together we can monitor and regulate our coastal salmon fishery, protecting stocks for future generations of anglers and fishermen alike.”