Campers nab Commercial diver with huge haul of scallops
17 September 2008
A Tauranga marine contractor was yesterday convicted and ordered to pay more than $2,000 in fines and costs for possessing 285 scallops, of which 120 were undersize, when the daily limit is 20 per person per day.
Glen Ladkin, 57, was found guilty of the charges by Judge Simpson after a two-day defended hearing at the Tauranga District Court.
Five members of the public, who were camping at Kuaotunu beach, Coromandel, at the time of the incident last January, gave evidence for the prosecution.
The campers reported they had used binoculars to watch Ladkin row a dinghy to a small buoy which was attached to a rope and proceed to pull up a large sack on board the dinghy.
They then saw Ladkin roll the sack back overboard when he apparently realised he was being observed and then rowed the dinghy ashore.
One of the campers swam to the buoy and brought the sack of scallops ashore. Later, Ladkin then returned to the sack, but one of the women in the group saw him approaching the sack and she sat on it.
The woman who sat on the sack gave evidence that Ladkin had firstly offered to share the scallops with her, and then offered the explanation that the scallops were for elderly people. When she refused Ladkin untied the buoy and walked away with it.
Ladkin told the Court that he only approached the sack of scallops out of curiosity and denied offering scallops to the woman.
Senior Fisheries Prosecutor, Morgan Dunn, told the Court Ladkin had previous convictions for fisheries matters and that the number of scallops possessed in this case was 14 times the daily limit of 20 per person.
Auckland District Compliance Manager, Ian Bright, says the sentence was a timely reminder at the start of the scallop season to stick to the bag limits and size limits.
“Fisheries rules are there to protect the resource for everyone and those who consider ignoring them for their own benefit should be aware that their chances of being caught are high and consequences serious,” he said.