Environment Agency enforcement officers have seized fishing equipment from two men from the Gloucester area who are believed to have been involved in the illegal netting of elvers on the River Severn in Gloucestershire.
The bailiffs pounced as the men were seen to be using suspected illegal nets to catch fish from a moving boat. The men have been reported for a number of offences.
For the Environment Agency Environment Manager David Throup said “ For operational and legal reasons we cannot go into detail at present but we can say that this is one of the first planned enforcement operations to be carried out in the new elver season and it certainly will not be the last.
“We will be targeting our work on those we know to be involved in illegal fishing. We will be helped by experienced fisheries enforcement officers from other regions of the Environment Agency and local police who will also provide specialist equipment which will help provide the evidence needed for prosecution in the courts.”
Mr Throup continued “Traditional elver fishermen have been increasingly concerned about the impact of illegal fishing on the eel population in the future. We intend to take all possible measures to tackle any suspected illegal fishing.”