POLICE patrols are to be increased at a beach following reports of illegal razor clam harvesting.

Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders has been pushing for action to be taken on Llanfairfechan beach.

She said: “I have raised this matter with North Wales Police, and am pleased to understand they are increasing their passing patrols of the beach, along with Welsh Government Fisheries.

“However, concerns have been raised regarding the suitability and prominence of the signage put up to advise of this fishery’s closure – with many called for more, larger, and sturdier signs in the area.”

The practice has been outlawed by the Welsh Government for fishery management purposes and is intended to conserve and protect razor clam stocks.

The Welsh Government has said: “Following concerns about the status of razor clam stocks at Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr, we have temporarily closed this razor clam fishery until December 31. This will allow us to conduct a survey to determine the health of the razor clam stocks and ensure they are not over fished.”

It added: “No person may remove, take or disturb any razor clams from a bed or part of a bed of razor clams which has been closed.”

Police Insp James Keene said: “We will be increasing patrols during the periods when the tide is out.”

In the past concerns were expressed that gangs of illegal workers had been harvesting clams from the beach and were being exploited. There were fears the local habitat could be irreparably damaged.