North East Wales

Two Dee Estuary cockle theft suspects apprehended

Two men have been apprehended on suspicion of taking cockles illegally from the Dee Estuary.

Environment Agency Wales (EAW) says its officers approached the men, aged 23 and 29 and from the Flintshire area, at 18:00 BST on Tuesday.

Cockling equipment was seized and both men were reported after an operation which also involved Merseyside Police.

Cockles weighing 75kg (12st) were returned to the beds, said the agency.

Environment Agency Wales said illegal cockling threatened the future of cockle beds and livelihood of licensed cocklers who work them in a safe and sustainable way.

"We strongly advise people not to try and take cockles illegally as they put themselves at risk of harm and of being prosecuted," said a spokesperson.

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