ILLEGAL fishing nets have been seized from Southannan Sands in Fairlie.

Fairlie Coastal group have reported the matter to Marine Scotland, Nature Scotland and North Ayrshire Council after the equipment was removed from the bay.

It is the second time criminals have been foiled after a similar plot was foiled in September.

Calls have now been made for a new ranger service to patrol the area to halt the culprits in their tracks.

David Nairn, who runs the Fairlie Coastal group, raised the alarm on Thursday.

He said: "We confiscated illegal monofilament nets and returned the captured fish back into our seas.

"We will take the nets down and continue to report these matters to the appropriate authorities.

"There are a lot of immature nursery fish so it was a positive result.

"There is no grey area when it comes to using mono gill nets - they are illegal in Scotland.

"People use them to corral the fish into one area and scoop them all out in big numbers."

David has called for a North Ayrshire-wide ranger team based on the North Coast and Cumbraes to help biodiversity and stimulate environmental and community wealth.

He said: "The solution is to have a dedicated body policing this.

"We keep hearing how the council cares about biodiversity and the environment but when it comes to stuff on the ground like this they are not addressing it.

"It would teach people to have a more hands on community coastal approach."

David has taken his plan to North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane and is eager to talk to the council to further the project.

He added: "It is a concern that this illegal fishing seems to be repeat offenders.

"The matter was previously reported to Marine Scotland and Police Scotland and it is a problem in other areas of the Clyde too. These people were caught red-handed last year and all the evidence was handed over but it would appear nothing has happened."