Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Commercial Crab Harvester Fined $20,000 for Fishing in a Closed Dioxin Contaminated Area

Danny My Ho Pleaded Guilty to Violations of the Fisheries Act
SECHELT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Aug. 16, 2016) - On July 20, 2016, Burnaby resident Danny My Ho pleaded guilty to four violations of the Fisheries Act in Sechelt Provincial Court. The Honourable Judge Steven Merrick fined Mr. Ho $20,000 for fishing for Dungeness crab in an area closed to commercial crab harvesting due to dioxin contamination.
The charges stem from Mr. Ho's fishing activities in Howe Sound during August 2015, as skipper of the commercial crabbing vessel the New Star. On October 9, 2015, a DFO resource management biologist requested that Conservation and Protection fishery officers investigate the fishing records of the New Star. A subsequent inspection of the vessel's electronic monitoring data and logbook revealed that Mr. Ho was harvesting commercial crab between August 15 and 26 up to one kilometer inside an area closed due to dioxin contamination near Roberts Creek and the Trail Islands on the Sunshine Coast.
Quick Facts
  • In B.C. consumption advisories, fishery closures, and monitoring programs have been in place for areas with shellfish, and fish that are contaminated by dioxins and furans, since the 1980s.
  • The commercial harvest and sale of crab from a dioxin closure area poses substantial health risks to consumers.
  • Illegal commercial harvest and sale of crabs from closed contaminated areas may also have a negative influence on consumer confidence and affect the marketing of all fish products domestically and internationally.
  • The commercial crab fishery accounts for over one quarter (approximately 27%) of the wholesale value of the province's wild shellfish products and supports substantial employment in the harvesting and processing sectors. The preliminary estimate of the 2014 coast-wide commercial landed value is $46.7M.
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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