Illegal trawling nets $3,000 fine for North Island commercial harvester

    CAMPBELL RIVER, BC, May 20 /CNW/ - A long-time North Island commercial
trawl captain pled guilty and was fined $3,000 in Campbell River Provincial
Court February 24, 2009, on a charge of illegal fishing under the Fisheries
    Following a Vancouver Island Conservation and Protection Special
Investigation Unit inquiry, Jay Bradley George, vessel master of the fishing
trawler "Viking Enterprise," was charged with unlawfully fishing in a closed
area on March 21, 2007, leading to his conviction this year.
    Mr. George set trawl gear within the closed sub-area of 108-2, commonly
referred to as the "Tide Marks." The trawl gear was towed for approximately 75
minutes for a distance of approximately 1.9 nautical miles within this closed
area. Fishery officers subsequently determined that approximately 150 pounds
of Pacific Ocean perch, and 1,000 pounds of arrow tooth flounder, were
    Sub-area 108-2 is closed to commercial groundfish trawling from October 1
to March 31 each year in an effort to protect spawning female Pacific Ocean
perch; a measure that was implemented in 1986 by the Department of Fisheries
and Oceans following talks with the Groundfish Advisory Committee on
conservation concerns. The closure is detailed in the Pacific Region
Integrated Fisheries Management Plan, March 10, 2007, to March 31, 2008, a
document which was included in the groundfish trawl licensing package received
by Mr. George in early March 2007.

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