From April to June, 35 individual harvesters were convicted of violations under the Fisheries Act, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The convictions resulted in total fines of $50,249.50. Individual fines ranged from $150 to $10,000 for failure to comply with licence conditions.
Convictions were secured for a range of fisheries and species: lobster, groundfish, soft-shelled clams, striped bass, trout, scallop, halibut, mackerel and crab. The full list of convictions can be accessed on Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) website: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/charges-inculpations/mar-eng.htm
Beyond fines, the convictions also resulted in a range of penalties for individual harvesters:
- A 20-day jail sentence and an 18-month prohibition on all clam harvesting,
- A six-month licence suspension for harvesting shellfish in a contaminated area,
- A suspended sentence resulting in four months’ probation and restrictions on being within 20 metres of a closed clam harvesting area.
Fishery officers are in the air, on the water, on wharves and at facilities ensuring the conservation and protection of species, and the long-term sustainability of fisheries in the Maritimes, the release said.
The department says suspicious fishing activity should be reported to the nearest DFO office or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).