Fish harvester receives hefty fine and forfeits vessel for violations

    CAMPBELL RIVER, BC, March 18 /CNW/ - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
announced today that a fish harvester has been fined $1,800 and forfeited his
vessel after pleading guilty to nine separate counts of the illegal sale of
prawn, halibut and cod.
    In 2000, Mr. Gerald Paquin of Campbell River began harvesting prawns in
the Tahsis Inlet area, and he subsequently harvested and sold prawns, halibut
and cod. Mr. Paquin fished under the authority of aboriginal communal fishing
licences that did not authorize the sale of fish.
    As part of their investigation, fishery officers conducted a series of
inspections and surveillance operations. During the investigation, it was
discovered that Paquin had started fishing using a 16-foot speed boat but
eventually moved to a commercial size vessel powered by twin 150 horsepower
engines complete with radar and crew members.
    Recently in a Campbell River provincial court, Paquin appeared and pled
guilty to nine separate counts of the illegal sale of prawn, halibut and cod
and was fined $1,800. In addition, Paquin's vessel, 105 prawn traps and ground
gear worth approximately $36,200 were seized and forfeited.

    DFO acts to end illegal fishing activity. As part of this work, the
Department is asking the general 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.

For further information:

For further information: Kirsten Ruecker, Communications Advisor,
Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Pacific Region, (604) 666-2872

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