Featured Image Credit: Nick David
By Lindsay Edgar
Always follow the rules when it comes to fishing. Two men off the coast of Whangarei Heads, New Zealand, learned the hard way when they were caught overfishing scallops in the area. The incident occurred back in February, when divers first noticed the men hauling large amounts of the mollusks out of the water.
The law states the scallop limit per diver is 20 scallops, and these two men were clearly breaking it. Then, during the investigation by fisheries officers, one of the men became aggressive, which forced them to involve police.
The full count of scallops after the investigation totaled 565 – more than 14 times the daily limit. Because of their deliberate disregard for the rules, the men face charges under the Fisheries Act.
When citizens choose to act against fishing laws, they threaten the sustainability of the ecosystem. In this case, the excessive amount of scallops removed from the water affected other divers’ catches. Most of the 565 scallops also had to be thrown away because they’d been out of the water for too long.
What’s the good news? The event has had a lasting effect on the public. Now, they are more vigilant in observing what’s happening in their waters, and are not afraid to take action when they see something fishy.