Canadian tuna fishing company fined, 30,000 pounds of fish seized

Canadian tuna fishing company fined, 30,000 pounds of fish seized

The owner of Canadian fishing vessel Ocean Provider was fined CAD 6,000 (USD 4,438, EUR 4,159) after pleading guilty to fishing for albacore tuna without a license.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) officers boarded the vessel at sea in 2022 for a routine inspection near Bamfield, British Columbia, Canada, while it was actively engaged in commercial fishing operations. After officers determined that the vessel was not licensed for tuna fishing, the Ocean Provider was escorted to port, where the government seized 2,250 tuna weighing a total of 31,956 pounds. The catch was valued at CAD 127,824 (USD 94,536, EUR 88,597)

The owner of the vessel, numbered company 1269039 BC Ltd., was sentenced in Port Alberni Provincial Court 28 June after pleading guilty to fishing without a license between 22 July and 15 August 2022. The court also upheld the government’s seizure of the vessel’s catch.

“Excess and illegal harvesting threatens conservation. It also could result in management changes or closures, diminish the significant economic benefit from the fishery to coastal communities, recreational fisheries, commercial harvesters, and threaten the food source for Indigenous people,” DFO said in a 13 September notice. “These significant penalties underscore the potential consequences for commercial harvesters who fail to comply with Canada's Fisheries Act.”

Last month, DFO announced that it was building four new patrol vessels to replace its aging fleet and increase its enforcement operations. The government has issued a CAD 5.4 million (USD 4 million, EUR 3.6 million) contract to Samson Enterprises for the vessels.

“Fishery officers are at the front line when it comes to protecting our marine ecosystems and habitats. We are committed to providing them with the right equipment, like these new small crafts, so they can do their conservation and protection work properly and safely,” Canada Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Diane Lebouthillier said.

Photo courtesy of DFO


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