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Illegal fish traps causing danger to wildlife found in Norfolk rivers

Six illegal fish traps were removed from the River Bure and River Ant in Norfolk following reports by members of the public. Pictured with the traps is Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officer in East Anglia, Nick Beardmore. Picture: Environment Agency

Six illegal fish traps were removed from the River Bure and River Ant in Norfolk following reports by members of the public. Pictured with the traps is Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officer in East Anglia, Nick Beardmore. Picture: Environment Agency

Environment Agency

Six illegal fish traps which potentially posed a danger to wildlife have been removed from two Norfolk rivers after fisheries officers were tipped off by “sharp-eyed members of the public”.

The unlicensed nets were retrieved from the Ant and Bure rivers during a 48-hour period this week, according to the Environment Agency.

A licence is needed to use traps to catch crayfish and other fish species, but these traps were identified as being illegal as they did not have the required licence tags.

Enforcement officers said some of the nets were homemade and others would have been purchased, but none of them had a licence, making them “not only illegal but also dangerous for fish, birdlife, or other wildlife who may get caught in them”.

The agency was alerted by people who spotted the traps and phoned an illegal fishing incident hotline number.

Lesley Robertson, enforcement team leader for the Environment Agency, said: “We are very grateful to those who reported these illegal traps. Without that information, those traps might still be there and caused damage to the wildlife.

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“We encourage the public to keep their eyes peeled for any illegal fishing activity and to call us on our incident hotline with information.

“Our officers are regularly out patrolling the river banks and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where anglers are found to be flouting the rule.”

The traps can be visible from the river bank, and can also be identified through a rope tied from the location of the trap to the bank.

• Members of the public can report any illegal fishing using the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

For more information on trap licences see the .GOV website.


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