Crossing the line
Kenneth Percy Leeco fined $3,000 and has clams seized
A P.E.I. man who was caught fishing for clams in an area marked as contaminated was fined $3,000 recently. Kenneth Percy Leeco appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Georgetown where he pleaded guilty to unlawfully fishing clams in an area set out under management of contaminated fisheries regulations. Crown attorney Matthew Bradley told the court a conservation officer and a conservation officer cadet found Leeco fishing soft shell clams in the Montague River.
Leeco admitted to fishing clams in a contaminated area and the conservation officer seized four trays of clams. A total of 3,085 clams were turned over to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and later released back into the Montague River.
Leeco received a written warning in 2000 for the same offence.
Bradley said the clams from a contaminated area could have a negative effects on anyone who consumed them and on the industry if anyone ate them.
“This is a public safety issue,” he said.
Before hearing his sentence, Leeco, who is a licensed fisherman, addressed the court and said he was basically right beside the line marking the contaminated area.
He didn’t see the difference a few feet made, Leeco said. Orr said if someone got sick from the clams the whole industry could get shut down.
“If the industry’s shut down you’re not going to have any money coming in,” she said.