Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 06, 2012 15:00 ET

Duncan Man Jailed for Failure to Pay Abalone Poaching Conviction Fines

DUNCAN, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 6, 2012) - An area man was sentenced in Duncan Provincial Court on January 27, 2012, to serve more than eight months in jail for failure to pay a court-ordered fine of $35,000, arising from his previous conviction for abalone poaching in contravention of the Fisheries Act.

In May 2005, Michael William John McGuire pled guilty to several illegal actions including illegally fishing for abalone and obstructing a fishery officer during the performance of his duties. At sentencing, Mr. McGuire was fined $35,000, forfeited a truck, vessel, boat trailer, fishing equipment and underwater dive gear to the Crown, and was prohibited from diving in Canadian waters for a period of 20 years.

Between June 2005 and January 2012, Mr. McGuire failed to make several payments of his fine and ignored subsequent court appearance notices. Repeated efforts by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enforce the court's order were unsuccessful, and on January 24, 2012, when Mr. McGuire again failed to attend court on this matter, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Mr. McGuire turned himself into the authorities on January 27, 2012. On examining the case, the Court determined that the defendant had misled the Crown with regard to paying the outstanding fine of $16,150, and sentenced him to over eight months in jail.

Due to serious conservation concerns, all abalone fisheries were closed in British Columbia in 1990. In 2003, northern abalone were listed as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act, which aims to prevent endangered and threatened wildlife from becoming extinct, and to help in their recovery. Despite continued efforts to rebuild abalone populations and prosecute poachers, abalone are showing little sign of recovery. In 2011, the species was up-listed to Endangered. One of the greatest threats to northern abalone survival in the wild is poaching.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada acts to end illegal activities that have an impact on fish and fish habitat. 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. Anyone with information about a violation can call the Fisheries and Oceans toll-free 24-hour reporting line at 1-800-465-4336.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
    Leri Davies
    Strategic Media Relations Advisor
    (604) 666-8675 or Cell: 604-612-6837