Illegal sale of sockeye nets hefty fine

    PORT HARDY, BC, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - A Port McNeill man was fined $5,000 in
Port Hardy Provincial Court November 19, 2008, after pleading guilty to
selling fish caught by a harvester without a license authorizing sales.
    James Robert Wadhams was charged after fishery officers observed him and
another man selling sockeye salmon to the public July 29, 2005, in the
community of Woss, B.C. Alert Bay resident Jeffrey Salmon has also been
charged in relation to this incident and a warrant has been issued for his
arrest. At the time there had been no recent commercial sockeye fisheries in
the area. Given that the salmon may not have been from a lawful commercial
source, the fishery officers were concerned that the fish could pose a health
risk to the public.
    Both Wadhams and Salmon were apprehended at the scene and $1,500 from the
sale of the salmon, plus a vehicle, were seized. The $1,500 was forfeited to
the Crown upon the conviction of Wadhams, while the truck was exempted from
    On further investigation it was determined that the 169 sockeye salmon in
question were harvested under an aboriginal communal license for food, social,
ceremonial purposes. Fish harvested under this type of permit cannot be
legally bought or sold. The buyers of the salmon were also charged and
convicted under the Fisheries Act for purchasing fish not licensed for sale.
Pursuant to the Fisheries (General) Regulations, no person shall buy, sell,
trade or barter, or offer to buy, sell, trade or barter, any fish that has
been caught without a license that authorizes sale.

    DFO acts to end illegal fishing activity. As part of this work, the
Department ask 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: Leri Davies, Strategic Media Relations Advisor,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region, (604) 666-8675

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