Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

November 30, 2009 15:00 ET

Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Richmond Commercial Chum Salmon Gillnetters Fined

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2009) - Two Richmond commercial harvesters have been fined a total of $5,500 in connection with illegal fishing activity that occurred during an October 2008 gillnet salmon fishery opening in Area E, on the Gravesend Reach main arm of the Fraser River.

On October 29, 2008, fishery officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) were conducting a vessel patrol on the Fraser River to monitor the Area E commercial salmon fishery opening. In two separate incidents, fishery officers boarded the vessels Point Blank and Trendsetter 1 to verify the number of personnel on board and the terms of their fishing licences. Contrary to the licence conditions, Mr. Kenny Yoshikawa was found to be fishing with a gillnet that exceeded the maximum depth allowed. Mr. Leonard Sonnenberg was found to be fishing with a gillnet that exceeded the maximum length allowed under the fisheries regulations.

Mr. Yoshikawa, from the vessel Trendsetter 1, pled guilty to contravening the Fisheries Act by failing to comply with the conditions of his fishing licence in Richmond Provincial Court April 9, 2009. Mr. Yoshikawa was fined $2,500 and permanently forfeited his fishing net and his catch (366 pounds of female chum salmon and 140 pounds of male chum salmon).

Mr. Sonnenberg, from the vessel Point Blank, pled guilty to contravening the Fisheries Act by fishing with illegal gear in Richmond Provincial Court May 26, 2009. Mr. Sonnenberg was fined $3,000 and forfeited the proceeds of his catch (316 pounds of female chum salmon and 527 pounds of male chum salmon, valued at $471). Mr. Sonnenberg's confiscated net was returned to him.

DFO acts to end illegal fishing activities. 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.

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