Environment Agency officers recovered two illegal fishing nets from the River Wear’s estuary during boat patrols.
One of the nets had caught a sea bird, which subsequently died.
The Agency says the death highlights the “indiscriminate nature” of illegal nets and the damage caused to the environment by poaching.
Officers also checked vessels during patrols across the North East using the boat ‘Shearwater’.
Heading out of Teesport, she steamed north before patrolling the River Wear estuary and then continuing north to Blyth.
During the patrols last Wednesday, eight licensed vessels were checked between Sunderland and Blyth. None were found to be breaching regulations. compliant.
The nets that were recovered from the River Wear estuary will be destroyed.
The Environment Agency’s fisheries technical specialist at Northumberland, Durham and Tees, Kevin Summerson, said: “This was a successful patrol which showed by teams working together we can monitor and regulate our coastal salmon fishery, protecting stocks for future generations of anglers and fishermen alike.”