Environment Agency officers checked eight vessels and recovered two abandoned illegal nets during boat patrols in the North East.
Last week the fisheries patrol boat ‘Shearwater’ carried out enforcement and regulatory patrols on the commercial salmon and sea trout fishery off the North East coast.
Heading out of Teesport, she steamed north before patrolling the River Wear estuary and then continuing north to Blyth.
During patrols last Wednesday 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 they 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.
The Environment Agency’s Fisheries Technical Specialist at Northumberland, Durham and Tees, Kevin Summerson, 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.