Illegal Eel Trap Drowns Otter
The Environment Agency is urging anglers to report illegal fishing activity after an otter died in an illegal eel trap.
A net with the dead otter inside was found this week three miles from the centre of Boston in Stonebridge Drain. The EA report that not only did the net omit a guard to prevent otters entering and becoming trapped but also that it also appeared during the close season for eel fishing, which runs until 01 April.
Phil Smith, Environment Agency Biodiversity Officer, said:
“The police have been informed of this illegal fishing activity and if investigations lead to finding who set the net, a prosecution will follow.
The eel population is declining so it is vital that eel netsmen respect the close season to ensure that fishing practices are sustainable. In this instance, an otter, a protected species, has also suffered as a result of the illegal activity.”
Eel nets have to be licensed by the Environment Agency, should have a numbered tag to allow identification and be fitted with a guard to prevent otters entering. The season for trapping eels is between 01 April and 10 December in any year.
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