Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

November 26, 2013 18:00 ET

Fraser Canyon Fish Harversters Found Guilty of Illegally Selling Food, Social, Ceremonial Salmon

CHILLIWACK, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 26, 2013) - On October 23, 2013, Chilliwack Provincial Court sentenced Clayton Wood for offences committed in 2010 and 2011, and Winston Kimber for offences committed with Mr. Wood in 2011.

On July 23, 2013, Mr. Wood was found guilty of four counts against the Fisheries Act, including illegally selling sockeye and coho salmon caught for food, social and ceremonial purposes under a communal licence issued to the Boston Bar First Nation, in the Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council, and for illegal possession of coho. At the same time, Winston Kimber was found guilty of offences in 2011 and Manley Desjarlais pled guilty to offences committed with Mr. Wood in 2010.

Judge R.C. MacKay ordered Mr. Wood to pay a fine of $700 and handed him a six-month conditional sentence to be followed by 12 months of probation. For a total of 18 months, Mr. Wood will not be permitted to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes unless designated by the Tribal Council. The judge further ordered Mr. Wood to serve 60 hours of community service. Mr. Kimber was found guilty, fined $500, and prohibited from any direct or indirect involvement in a native fishery. Mr. Desjarlais pled guilty, was fined $1,000 and ordered to forfeit several seized items.

In handing down his judgement, Justice MacKay emphasized the significance of a number of letters written by Grand Chief Robert Pasco to Mr. Wood, directing him not to sell fish that was caught for food, social and ceremonial purposes. These letters indicated that any right to sell should benefit the full community and not be for personal gain.

On Friday September 24, 2010, fishery officers were conducting a uniformed vehicle patrol of the Boston Bar area when they became aware of a suspicious vehicle. The officers followed the vehicle to Surrey, British Columbia where the occupants of the vehicle were observed attempting to sell fish illegally to area residents and businesses. Mr. Wood and Mr. Desjarlais were arrested and an RCMP inspection of the vehicle yielded 176 sockeye, weighing 807 pounds, and two coho salmon. The fish, the vehicle, and its contents, were seized. In 2011, Mr. Wood and Mr. Kimber were observed attempting to illegally sell fish caught for food, social and ceremonial purposes in North Vancouver and were charged.

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.

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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Contact Information

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