First nations salmon fisheries under investigation
By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 08 January, 2012
The federal government is conducting a complex and extensive investigation into first nations salmon fisheries on the B.C. coast, Provincial Court documents reveal.
And a Richmond company, Pasco Seafood Enterprises, which prides itself on sourcing products that are certified sustainable and legal, has become entangled in the net being cast by fisheries officers.
The investigation involves a native fishery last summer where the federal fisheries department alleges 64,151 kilograms of salmon was caught illegally in Johnstone Strait.
Economic opportunity fisheries allow natives limited commercial sales. But in this case, fisheries officials allege the fish were illegally caught in a “closed area by fish harvesters that did not have a licence to catch the fish.”
The court documents state Pasco purchased some of that salmon “in the normal course of their business.” Several purchasers are believed to be involved in distributing the salmon across North America.
During the course of the investigation, fisheries officers seized 30 totes of sockeye and one tote of mixed salmon, which the federal government later sold for CAD 90,000.
They also seized documents and returned two days later with a search warrant for more documents.