TWO Flintshire men were apprehended by Environment Agency Wales officers on suspicion of taking cockles illegally from the Dee Estuary.
The two men, aged 23 and 29, were spotted by officers at 6pm on Tuesday and approached as they attempted to land their catch.
Both were reported for the offences and officers seized the equipment used as evidence. Three bags of cockles, weighing 75kg, were returned to the beds.
A spokesman for Environment Agency Wales said: “Licensed cocklers pay so they can take these cockles from the beds and they do that in a safe and sustainable way.
“Illegal activity threatens their livelihood and the future of the beds. It is also incredibly dangerous to try to access the beds without the specialist knowledge the licensed cocklers have.
“They have fished here for years and know the tides and areas which cause problems.
“We strongly advise people not to try and take cockles illegally as they put themselves at risk of harm and of being prosecuted.”