SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 6, 2013) - Two commercial crab harvesters from Delta, British Columbia, have been fined a total of $27,000 and banned from participating in the Boundary Bay commercial crab fishing industry for 10 years, after pleading guilty to offences related to harvesting crab in American waters.
On August 21, 2012, Phuc Tac Ma and his wife, The Anh Ma, pleaded guilty to unlawfully fishing outside of Canadian waters, contrary to section 65(1) of the Fishery (General) Regulations, and an offence under section 78 of the Fisheries Act. This is the third conviction of Phuc Tac Ma for the same offence, and second for The Ahn Ma.
Surrey Provincial Court Judge Ellen Gordon ordered that The Anh Ma pay a fine of $2,000 and that Phuc Tac Ma pay a fine of $25,000. These funds were directed by the court to be used for crab species studies, and for the enhancement, management and control of the crab fishery and habitat in the Boundary Bay area.
Judge Gordon further ordered that Mr. and Mrs. Ma be prohibited from participating, in any way, in British Columbia's Boundary Bay (Area J) commercial crab fishery.
The charges against the couple stemmed from incidents that occurred September 14, 2008, during routine observation of the commercial crab fleet by Conservation and Protection fishery officers. The vessel Silver Fox, operated by Mr. and Mrs. Ma, was seen repeatedly crossing the border into U.S. waters to set and retrieve traps that were then dragged back into Canadian waters to be emptied.
To report suspicious fishing activity or habitat violations, please contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office, or call the toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336.