Activity targeting illegal shellfish collecting in Fife

Published 18 June 2018

Police in Fife have been working alongside their relevant partners to tackle the illegal collection of shellfish in the Kingdom.

Between Thursday 14th and Saturday 16th June, officers from the Proactive and Community Policing Team joined the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and Immigration Enforcement, to target the Pettycur Bay area.

The agencies involved were trying to identify individuals breaking the law by collecting large quantities of shellfish, in particular, razor clams, which are protected under the Sea Fisheries Act 2017.

Razor clams live by burrowing into the sand once the tide goes out. People can use large amounts of salt to draw them out of their burrows and collect them. However, over harvesting of these shellfish will impact on their populations and that of the local coastal ecosystem. 

Collecting more than 30 razor clams per person per day is illegal and recent intelligence had suggested that groups were potentially taking  well over this number each day.

While no offences were observed during the partnership activity various people were spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities under the legislation.

Constable Lindsay Kerr, Wildlife and Environmental Crime Officer for Fife, said: " There are a number of concerns with the illegal collection of razor clams, given its increased links to organised crime groups nationally.

"Our objective is to identify who is involved and why, as well as establishing the wellbeing of those collecting the razor clams and who is tasking them with doing so.

"We will continue to work closely with our partners to investigate this matter and anyone with information should contact us immediately."

Those with information can contact police in Fife via 101 or make an anonymous report to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Contact Details

Call 101 for non-emergencies and general enquiries, in an emergency call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Your Community

Find out more about local policing issues in this area by visiting: Central (Fife), East (Fife), Fife, West (Fife)

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