Tyne & Wear

Illegal fishing nets uncovered in River Wear

The fishing nets Image copyright Environment Agency
Image caption The size of the net found was capable of capturing "significant" numbers of fish

Two illegal fishing nets, thought to have been used to capture salmon and sea trout, have been recovered from the River Wear.

The nets, measuring 10m long and 2m wide, were found in Sunderland on Thursday, with one set in the river and the other hidden nearby.

It is the second time in a week illegal nets have been found by Environment Agency patrols.

Anyone caught operating unlicensed nets could be jailed or fined.

The discoveries were made by enforcement officers following up reports of illegal fishing.

David Shears, from the agency, said the size of the net found was capable of taking "significant numbers" of fish.

"The tidal reaches of the River Wear are frequented by large numbers of salmon and particularly sea trout making their way up river to spawn," he said.

"As well as putting fish stocks in jeopardy, such nets are indiscriminate in nature in that any fish, mammal or bird can be trapped and killed."

On Monday officers recovered an illegal net from the river in Washington, measuring 12m by 3m.

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