By John Harding
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans needs your help.
The NEWS has received numerous calls and letters from residents expressing concern about people allegedly overharvesting shellfish from local beaches.
A spokesperson for the federal government department that sets the rules regarding salt-water fisheries urges people who believe they are witnessing illegal activity to call their toll-free line.
"We are asking for help from the public to prevent illegal harvesting of shellfish," said the DFO's Diane Lake.
The number to call is 1-800-465-4336.
The Parksville Qualicum Beach area is within the DFO's Area 14. The subareas involved from Nanoose Bay through to Deep Bay (the shorelines only) are areas 14-1, 14-4 and 14-5. The bulk of this shoreline (subareas 14-1 and 14-4) is closed to all bivalve shellfish except manila clams, littleneck clams, oysters and mussels. Subarea 14-5, in the northern reaches of our region, is closed only to butter clams.
Recreational harvesters are allowed to take geoducks in our region, with a limit of three per day, but not in most of the region. Callers to The NEWS have said they have witnessed large groups of people taking geoducks from the Eaglecrest beach at the end of Yambury Road (the access is off Butterball Drive). More....