Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

October 06, 2009 14:00 ET

Fines for Undersized Crabs Caught in Tsawwassen

SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 6, 2009) - A recreational crab harvester has received a significant fine for possession of two undersized Dungeness crabs caught near the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal Causeway.

Marco Grefiel was found guilty of three violations under the Fisheries Act by Judge William G. MacDonald in Surrey provincial court on December 2, 2008, and fined a total of $600: $200 for retaining two undersized Dungeness crabs, $200 for retaining a female Dungeness crab, and $200 for making a false statement to a fishery officer.

On August 3, 2008, fishery officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) stopped a vehicle in the popular fishing area in Tsawwassen. When questioned, Mr. Grefiel, who was accompanied by several other men, denied that he had been fishing and that he had crabs in the vehicle. However, upon inspection by the fishery officers, two Dungeness crabs were found in the car's trunk: one was female, and both were undersized. It was unclear who had been fishing and therefore no charge was laid against Mr. Grefiel for fishing without a licence.

To protect the stocks, crab harvesters are required to return female and undersized Dungeness crabs immediately to the water. Fishers can only catch males that are large enough to have mated at least twice (at least 165 mm in width, measured in a straight line through the widest part of the carapace, or shell, from outside the points). Harvesters are advised to measure crabs using a caliper device.

DFO acts to end illegal fishing activity. As part of this work, the Department asks the general public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and Regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
    Leri Davies
    Strategic Media Relations Advisor
    (604) 666-8675