Recreational Crab Harvesters Convicted For Illegal Harvesting Of Dungeness Crabs In Two Separate Cases

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced
today that two recreational crab harvesters have been convicted of fishing
illegally and fined in two separate cases.
    Mr. Minh Tai Tieu of Surrey was fined $3,000 in Vancouver provincial
court after pleading guilty to catching and retaining undersized Dungeness
crabs, exceeding the daily quota for crabs and obstructing a Fishery Officer.
The Court also ordered the forfeiture of Mr. Tieu's boat, motor and fishing
gear with an approximate value of $1,500.
    On April 10, 2006, fishery officers observed Mr. Tieu fishing with
recreational crab traps in Burrard Inlet in Burnaby. The observations led
officers to believe that he was in possession of a large quantity of
unmeasured crabs. His vehicle was searched and fishery officers found a large
bag of crabs hidden in the spare tire well of his vehicle and in a sack which
he had hidden in a ditch. A total of 37 Dungeness crabs were found, of which
27 were found to be under the legal size limit of 165 millimetres in width. A
boat, motor and fishing gear were seized and the crabs were released back into
Burrard Inlet.
    The $3,000 in fines levied against Mr. Tieu will be used for promoting
the conservation and protection of fish or fish habitat. This was Mr. Tieu's
first conviction under the Fisheries Act.
    In a separate case, Mr. Mustaj Ali of Surrey was fined $2,400 in Port
Coquitlam provincial court for possession of 47 undersized Dungeness crabs.
    During the night of February 16, 2007, fishery officers oberved Mr. Ali
while he was recreational crab fishing in Burrard Inlet at the fishing dock of
Belcarra Regional Park. Fishery officers conducted an inspection of Mr. Ali's
vehicle and found 47 Dungeness crabs, all under the legal size limit of
165 millimetres in width. All of his fishing gear was seized and the crabs
were released back into Burrard Inlet.
    Recently, in Port Coquitlam provincial court, Mr. Ali appeared and pled
guilty to illegal possession of undersized Dungeness crab. This was his first
conviction under the Fisheries Act.
    Crab must be measured immediately by harvesters after being caught and
undersized crab released without delay. DFO has set crab harvesting size
restrictions to help ensure that young crab have a chance to populate. The
minimum size limit for Dungeness crab is 165 millimetres in width.

    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 and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region, (604) 666-2872

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