Appearing at Sunderland Magistrates' Court, the 66-year-old admitted setting a drift net
from his boat inside the Wear Conservation Zone on August 16 last year and failing to correctly complete the catch return logbook issued to him.
High seas drift net
fishing kills huge amounts of fish, birds and marine mammals with nets suspended for miles.
Curbs on drift nets
have been in place on European waters since 1992 but illegal use has been reported amongst French and Italian fishermen.
Spain's concerns arise from the fact that it has recognised that a type of net used by its fishermen - known as a tonnaille net - is in fact a drift net
, and is illegal in the Mediterranean under existing EU regulation.
The buying out of the North East drift nets
has also proved beneficial and might be the reason for the slight improvement on the Tay.
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Only 15 salmon drift net
licences remain between Amble and Whitby and Mr Armstrong believes their removal will prevent younger generations of fishermen and their families from entering the industry.
Despite being notorious among environmentalists for their impact on whales and dolphins, drift nets
, a fishing method restricted by several different EU regulations, have not until now actually been formally defined at European level - something the European Commission is now set to change.
In 1992 the Government began the process of closing the salmon and sea trout drift net
fishery along the Northumberland coastline.
An Environment Agency Wales spokesman added, 'Salmon from all parts of England and Wales are exploited in the Irish coastal drift net
He added: "To save the salmon we need to stop drift net
Ireland is the only country in Europe that still permits drift net
fishing - it is illegal in Canada, Scotland, Iceland and Norway.