Fishery Officers on patrol at Newdicks Beach, Maketu, inspected a 69 year old Mount Maunganui man landing at
the beach in his dinghy.
The man was found to be in possession of 163 green lipped mussels. The daily individual limit is 50 per person in the Western Bay of Plenty area.
As a result of his alleged offending the man had his dinghy and dive gear seized. The dive gear included a breathing apparatus set, wet suit, dive tanks and other associated equipment.
Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Coromandel Compliance Manager Brendon Mikkelsen said "This individual now faces likely prosecution through the courts for possession of excess shellfish which carries a maximum fine of up $20,000 and upon any conviction, likely forfeiture of his vessel and dive gear to the Crown."
"Our Honorary Fishery Officers carried out patrols over Queens Birthday weekend in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty area and on the whole found most people complying with fisheries regulations", he said.
Members of the public are urged to phone the Ministry's freephone hotline 0800 4 POACHER (0800 4 76224) in confidence if they see any unlawful activity, including suspected poaching and/or offering seafood for sale on the black-market.
"The assistance of the public by reporting suspicious or illegal activity to Fishery Officers is a key element in protecting the fishery and ensures its sustainability for future generations."