MASSET, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 17, 2014) - On December 11, 2013, in Masset Provincial Court, Stan William Steer was found guilty of violations of the Fisheries Act. Justice H.J. Seidemann III fined the commercial harvester, and owner of the vessel STEER CLEAR, $20,000 for setting crab traps in McIntyre Bay during a period that was closed for all crab fishing.
After reports from the public, fishery officers investigated and determined that Mr. Steer had set crab gear in McIntyre Bay off the north east shore of Haida Gwaii, on August 5, 2010, one day prior to the official opening of the commercial crab fishery. Officers interviewed Mr. Steer on August 6, 2010, during the first day of the opening. They confiscated approximately 153 crab traps and released into the ocean an estimated 1,854 live crabs caught during the closed time.
- GPS data, part of the on-board mandatory electronic monitoring system for all Area A commercial crab vessels, confirmed that the traps had been set one day prior to the opening of the fishery.
- The Area A crab fishery involves a fleet of about 50 vessels harvesting Dungeness crab in northern British Columbia and is highly regulated.
- The mandatory electronic monitoring system is one of the licence requirements.
- Mr. Steer has previously been convicted of illegal possession of a prohibited species contrary to conditions of licence.
The Government of Canada is committed to safeguarding the long-term health and productivity of Canada's fisheries resources, and the habitat that supports them, for generations to come. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to prosecute offenders under the Fisheries Act. It ensures and promotes compliance with the Act and other laws and regulations through a combination of land, air, and sea patrols, as well as education and awareness activities. As part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada's work to end illegal activity, the Department asks the 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.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Follow us on Twitter! www.Twitter.com/DFO_MPO