Otters found dead in illegal crayfish net

An angler has this week told of his heartbreak at finding the dead bodies of a female otter and her cub in an illegal crayfish net at a fishery in East Yorkshire.

The individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, made the sinister discovery at Broomfleet Washlands, a small group of waters that offer free angling. He says that he has now taken it upon himself to bailiff the waters for free after a spate of other worrying finds.

As well as other unregulated crayfish traps, he’s also found setlines and come across people filleting pike and barbecuing them on the bank. Now he is calling for the Environment Agency to take action to prevent any further damage to fish stocks and other wildlife.

“Finding these beautiful creatures, which must have come to such a distressful and painful end, was horrific. It has to be the last straw,” he said.

“These lakes suffer at the hands of eastern Europeans who take fish away for the table. Having spoken to many of them, I’m convinced that it’s a case of them not understanding our culture or the damage illegal nets and set lines can do.

When contacted by AT, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We are aware that this is a growing problem in Broomfleet, so we have arranged for our bailiffs to patrol this fishery much more regularly in future to help us crackdown on any illegal fishing.”