An otter has been found dead in an illegal eel net in Lincolnshire.
The Environment Agency said the discovery was made this week, three miles from the centre of Boston in Stonebridge Drain.
A spokesmen said the net was of a prohibited type and had been placed after the eel fishing season had closed.
He added that otters were a protected species and illegal eel fishing had an impact on wider fish stocks.
Phil Smith, Environment Agency Biodiversity Officer, said: “The police have been informed of this illegal fishing activity and if investigations lead to finding who set the net, a prosecution will follow.
“The eel population is declining so it is vital that eel netsman respect the closed season to ensure that fishing practices are sustainable.
“In this instance, an otter, a protected species, has also suffered as a result of the illegal activity.”