Unusual fish caught off the coast of South Shields

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A non-native salmon species has been spotted in the waters around the North East.

The Environment Agency has received calls of unusual fish being caught - one by an angler on the River Tyne near Wylam and another two by licensed netsmen off the coast of South Shields.

It is believed the fish are Pink Salmon – Oncorhynchus gorbuscha – a native of the North Pacific basin and its surrounding rivers.

The Environment Agency’s Richard Jenkins said: “This is quite an unusual find in our waters and we’re keen anglers know we’re aware of the sightings and we’re investigating.

“I’d urge them to contact us if they see any non-native salmon in the waters, with a date, location and if possible a photograph, which would really help us identify them and build up a picture of where they are.

“At this stage we don’t think there’s likely to be a major impact on wild fish stocks.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the environmental monitoring team at Northumberland, Durham and Tees via 0800 807060.