Investigation relaunched into the deaths of dead crabs found along the North East coast

An investigation into the deaths of thousands of crabs and lobsters along the North East coastline has been relaunched by the government. 

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has told ITV News Tyne Tees it will "undertake additional sampling" after recent reports of dead crustaceans.

Whitby fisherman, Alan Page, said he is concerned for the future of his business.

He said: "Immensely concerned because it's impacted us over 90% of our intake. There's just nothing there to catch hardly. You're going out to sea and all you're getting is one or two lobsters and that's been going on since November. I'll be lucky to survive it."

"Main thing is to know what it is and how long is it going to last on the environment, the beaches and all the inshore fishing."

A Defra spokesperson said: “Further scientific work is required to continue to examine the ongoing impact of this incident and we will continue to update industry on next steps as work continues.

“Significant testing and modelling previously ruled out a number of potential causes including chemical pollution, sewage, animal disease or dredging.

“However, although healthy crabs and lobsters have been recorded in the area, we are aware that there have been reports of further dead or dying lobsters and crabs found in a small number of pots along the North East coast this week, and will be undertaking additional sampling of crab and lobster within the incident area to investigate.”

Defra previously said it had "completed a thorough investigation" which concluded a natural algal bloom was responsible for dead sea life found washed up on the shores between October and December last year.