YET more illegally harvested shellfish has been seized from off the coast of Southend.

Authorities stumbled across the oyster pickers on Saturday afternoon during a regular patrol to spot stranded swimmers off Chalkwell beach.

Members of the Chalkwell Lifeguards and officers from Essex Police were involved in the dramatic operation on the cockle beds, which saw even more shellfish seized and the details taken of those responsible.

It is not yet known the quantity of the shellfish, believed to be oysters, which was seized yesterday.

Southend Council's Enviromental Health team also attended the incident.

The dangers of illegally harvesting the shellfish can be catastrophic for public health and the fishing industry in Southend.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, has recently called for the Government to press on with measures to prevent the illegal harvesting from continuing.


A spokesman from the Chalkwell Lifeguards, said: "Patrol members spotted what appeared to be the dubious commercial harvesting of shellfish from the cockle beds off Chalkwell Beach near the Crowstone monument at about 5.15pm on Saturday afternoon.

"Members of the public who observe this kind of activity along Southends foreshore during the summer are advised to contact Southend Council's out of hours team."