Cockle. Photo by Andrea Westmoreland
Four Christchurch cockle rustlers were sprung with more than 10,000 of the shellfish stuffed into sacks. The daily limit for recreational cockle gathering in Canterbury is 150 per person. It was the biggest illegal haul ever discovered in Canterbury. The rustlers admitted possessing more than three times the daily recreational limit of cockles, when they appeared in the Christchurch District Court. They spent three hours at the Ashley River gathering 10,548 cockles, which they stashed in two vehicles, a 2006 Toyota van and a 2007 Landcruiser. They were fined $2000 each and forfeited the vehicles.