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Prince Rupert Enforcement Operation Garners Hefty Penalities for Harvesters Illegally Selling Salmon Commercially

PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/18/14 -- A field operation conducted by fishery officers in 2010, targeting the illegal sale of salmon to commercial fish buyers and processing facilities, has resulted in significant penalties for three men from the Prince Rupert area.

On June 23, 2014, in Prince Rupert Provincial Court, Glen Robert Wesley was found guilty of violations of the Fisheries Act that occurred over a two-month period in the summer of 2010 in the Port Simpson area of northern British Columbia. The honourable Judge H.J. Seidemann III fined the master of the commercial gillnetting vessel the HELEN H $20,000 for fishing for salmon during a closed time. In addition, the Judge ordered that Mr. Wesley be prohibited from participating in the commercial salmon fishery until September 30, 2014.

On April 24, 2014, in Prince Rupert Provincial Court, Carl Reginald Wilbur Sampson, vessel master of the commercial gillnetter PE 238 was found guilty of violations of the Fisheries Act. The honourable Judge H.J. Seidemann III fined Mr. Sampson $4,500 for selling fish illegally caught in contravention of the Fisheries Act, Section 33. Mr. Sampson's brother and co-accused, Gerald Gregory Sampson, was also found guilty of the same offence and sentenced to two months of house arrest.

Quick Facts

--  The special enforcement project, which ran from mid-June to August 2010,
    uncovered a potential of 226 violations of the Fisheries Act and
    resulted in charges brought forward to Crown for approval and charges
    laid against seven harvesters.
--  Three of the harvesters have now been sentenced while another four
    individuals are in various stages of court proceedings.
--  Subject-matter experts from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the
    commercial fishing industry assisted in the investigation by
    demonstrating through statistical analysis that the volume of salmon
    caught by these harvesters was impossible to have been achieved solely
    during the legal commercial fishery opening.

"One of the keys to protecting the future of fish stocks is effective enforcement to detect and deter illegal fishing activity," commented Larry Paike, Director, Conservation and Protection, Pacific Region. He continued, "This case illustrates that, with assistance from the public and the commercial fishing industry, the illegal harvesting and sale of salmon caught and sold into legal commercial openings can be successfully detected and prosecuted."

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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Leri Davies, Strategic Media Relations Advisor
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
Cell: 604-612-6837

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