“Illegal cockle fishing in our area has been a major problem recently and it is right that the Police and other agencies clamp down on the exploitation of foreign workers by criminal gangs in our area.
"This is a major multi-agency operation involving 150 personnel and sends a clear signal to criminal gangs that their actions will no longer be tolerated.”
"“The people the gangs use to illegally fish are risking their lives out on the Solway Coast.
"These are dangerous waters at any time, but especially since they usually operate at night.
"This has all the makings of a tragedy waiting to happen and we need to prevent them being exploited.”
More top news
Sandy Murray, of Police Scotland, was was giving evidence at the trial of a bus driver who denies killing Ryan Baird by dangerous driving.
34-year-old Christopher Peck was involved in a head-on crash with a drunk driver. His funeral has taken place in his hometown, Workington.
The arrests come weeks after a much-publicised series of appeals to mark the 30th anniversary of the 18-year-old's death.