WINNIPEG, Oct. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - An Environment Canada investigation led to the sentencing last Wednesday of Jayson Daeninck and his company, Saltwater Connection, on 18 charges under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA).
Mr. Daeninck and his company were fined a total of $135,822 in Manitoba Provincial Court for illegally importing protected species from Indonesia without Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits. Total fines for both Mr. Daeninck and his company were $125,500 with an additional fine of $10,322 to cover storage costs for the live rock over the past five years while the investigation and subsequent trial were underway. Live rock is the term given to pieces of coral rock to which are attached live specimens of invertebrate species and coralline algae.
The violations were first noted in June 2007, when Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) inspectors working in British Columbia discovered a 9,508 kg shipping container of suspect live rocks, originating in Indonesia. Environment Canada's Enforcement Branch followed up with an investigation when the container arrived in Winnipeg.
The violations on which Mr. Daeninck and his company were found guilty included the illegal importation of live rock based on stony corals, as well as live species of giant clams, seahorses and stony corals. These species are protected under CITES and WAPPRIITA.
Of the fines paid for wildlife violations, 90% will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund which is administered by Environment Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada. The fund provides courts with a way to direct fines to projects that restore and protect the environment.
CITES is an international agreement that sets controls on the worldwide trade and movement of more than 33,000 animal and plant species that have been, or may be, threatened due to excessive commercial exploitation. The Convention uses an international permit system to regulate trade in CITES listed species.
WAPPRIITA is the Canadian legislation for implementing CITES in Canada. Maximum penalties for summary convictions of individuals under WAPPRIITA include fines up to $25,000 and/or up to six months in jail.
Working closely with CBSA as well as domestic and international partners, Environment Canada contributes to the protection of species at risk listed around the world. For more information on WAPPRIITA regulations, visit our website (http://www.ec.gc.ca/cites/Default.asp?lang=En&n=1BC82E16-1).
SOURCE: Environment Canada
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