'Greedy' diver cops $2200 fine and loses van, boat and dive gear
March 2, 2004
A Coromandel man, William Boyd Taverner who was caught with "significant" amounts of excess rock lobster and excess scallops was convicted and fined a total $2200 including costs when he appeared in the Thames District Court today.
Taverner's Nissan van, a 4.6 metre (15ft) fibreglass boat and dive gear valued at approximately $10,200 were also ordered forfeit to the crown.
Taverner was apprehended on August 29 last year after being stopped on the coast road just north of Thames and found to be in possession of 53 rock lobster and 603 scallops.
The daily individual quota of rock lobster that may be taken in this area is 6 and the daily individual quota of scallops is 20.
Although Taverner initially claimed that the seafood had been taken pursuant to a customary fishing permit, he later abandoned this defence and pleaded guilty to the charges.
Tauranga based Fishery Officer, Andrew Cameron, who stopped the man's vehicle said that he was acting on reliable information received from the public.
"The Ministry relies heavily on public support in their efforts to protect the fishery and any information received is always very highly valued," he says. "It is also always treated in the strictest confidence."
Brendon Mikkelsen, the Tauranga District Compliance Manager, said that he was happy with this result and commented that cases involving abuses of customary permits are rarely detected in the Coromandel area.
For further information please contact:
DCM Brendon Mikkelsen, Ministry of Fisheries
Phone 07 574-5109, 0274 933-118