Canada’s halibut monitoring results in convictions, $1m in fines


James Wright, Senior Editor

Published on
April 30, 2015

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans reported this week that its multi-year approach to conserving and protecting the Atlantic halibut fishery has been a success, resulting in “a long line” of convictions and nearly USD 1 million in fines and forfeitures.

In an effort to identify and reduce threats to this fishery, DFO modernized its approach concerning data collection, longer-term analysis and comprehensive investigations. Since 2010, DFO officers’ efforts have led to 164 convictions across Atlantic Canada, with fines totaling CAD 1,178,000 (USD 973,992; EUR 868,831) for illegal fishing, possession and sale of Atlantic halibut.

“Our government is committed to ensuring sustainable and viable fisheries for generations to come,” said Gail Shea, minister of fisheries and oceans. “The enforcement activities our fishery officers undertake play an absolutely critical role in our efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability and health of the Atlantic halibut fishery. I am very proud of the work they continue to do every day to prevent illegal fishing.”

DFO reports that the Atlantic halibut resource is healthy; the fishery was one of the first fisheries to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

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