THEFTS of shellfish and creels are being investigated by police.

Residents and businesses from throughout the county are being urged to report unlicensed fishermen who have been stealing from creels and selling stolen shellfish caught in and around Dunbar.

The town’s harbour is home to nearly 30 fishing vessels ranging from six to 15 metres long.

In recent years, it has experienced thefts from crab and lobster creels, as well as fishing equipment being stolen.

The issue has been made worse by the poaching of undersized crabs and lobsters, as well as egg-laden queens, by unlicensed fishermen.

Councillor Donna Collins, who represents the town on East Lothian Council, has met with local fishermen and representatives of Police Scotland and Marine Scotland about the issue.

Police Scotland confirmed they would investigate reported thefts of creels and shellfish in the area and have asked fishermen and the public to be vigilant of activity they suspect might be suspicious.

READ MORECreels stolen from local fishermen

Marine Scotland has confirmed that, due to reports of increased illegal activity, they have increased fishery patrols in the North Berwick to Cove coastal area.

The councillor said: “Having witnessed poaching and the damage it has caused to the livelihoods of local fishermen first-hand, I am pleased that progress has been made with Police Scotland and Marine Scotland to crackdown on poaching and theft of shellfish in East Lothian.

“Many people in Dunbar and the surrounding community rely on fishing as their primary source of income and it is a key part of the town’s economy.

“I would urge any resident or business who buy lobster or crab from a local vendor to only buy from legitimate sources.”