CAMPBELL RIVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 23, 2016) - On June 3, 2016, Ian Garnier, commercial fishing master of the Miss Tatum, pleaded guilty to eight violations of the Fisheries Act in Courtenay Provincial Court. On July 8, 2016, in Campbell River Provincial Court, the Honourable Judge Catherine Ann Crockett sentenced Mr. Garnier to pay a fine of $10,000.
On a commercial groundfish fishing trip that began on September 9, 2011, Ian Garnier, Captain of the Miss Tatum, was trawling for Pacific Hake in the waters of Queen Charlotte Sound, north of Port Hardy, B.C. During the trip, five violations of the Fisheries Act occurred: releasing Rockfish at sea, failing to record the discarded Rockfish in the logbook, failing to immediately record all species caught in the logbook, hailing out less than 8 hours prior to the commencement of fishing, and discarding fish.
On November 13, 2012, Captain Garnier was engaged in the commercial groundfish trawl fishery, in waters off Queen Charlotte Sound. During that trip, Mr. Garnier fished in a closed area, and violated the conditions of the Miss Tatum fishing licence by failing to keep a record of all fishing activity in the vessel's logbook, plus failing to record the vessel's hail-out number in the logbook.
- During November 2012, portions of the Queen Charlotte Sound area were closed to commercial trawling to reduce harvesting pressures on Pacific Ocean perch during their spawning period. This seasonal closure has been in effect since the mid 1980's.
- When fishing for Pacific Hake a commercial trawl fishing vessel can be monitored, either by an on-board observer, or by electronic means, which includes video. This monitoring is in place to ensure compliance with conditions of licence and regulations governing the commercial Pacific Hake fishery.
- One of the conditions of allowing electronic monitoring is that fishers must retain all catch on board the vessel. They are not permitted to discard unwanted fish. In addition, the entire catch must be validated upon docking. Fishers are individually accountable for all their catch.
- These measures are in place because timely, accurate information on harvesting practices, catch composition, and location, are essential to ensuring the conservation and long-term sustainability of the groundfish resource.
- Accurate and independently verified catch information supports effective fisheries management, encourages responsible fishing practices, and supports Canada's international obligations.
- This is Mr. Garnier's second conviction for violations of the Fisheries Act.
"Fishing is a highly regulated industry: those who undertake it have a duty to make sure they follow the rules in order to protect and maintain the valuable resources contained in our oceans." - Honourable Judge Crockett
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.
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