Yacht club convicted of killing migratory birds in attempt to scare them away

QUÉBEC, July 22, 2016 /CNW/ - On July 6, the Club nautique de Baie-Comeau Inc., on the North Shore, pleaded guilty to killing or injuring a dozen Ring-Billed Gulls by trying to scare them, in violation of the Migratory Birds Regulations. The Club nautique was fined $2,500 dollars, which will be paid to the Environmental Damages Fund. This sentence is the first conviction in Canada for this type of offence under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA).

The investigation determined that in July 2014, the Club nautique de Baie-Comeau Inc. had installed a network of monofilaments extended over the marina's breakwater to scare the birds and prevent them from landing on it to protect crafts in anchorage. However, this installation resulted in taking, wounding or even killing the birds. Since the situation was repeated after Wildlife enforcement officers issued a warning to remedy it in 2013, they laid charges under subsection 24(3) of the Regulations.

Quick facts

  • The MBCA recognizes that birds may sometimes cause damage to property or pose a threat to humans. Therefore, any person may, without a permit, use equipment, other than an aircraft or firearms, to scare migratory birds that are causing or are likely to cause damage to crops or other property. However, it is prohibited to kill, wound or take the birds without a permit to do so from Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) Canadian Wildlife Service.
  • In addition to the marinas, scaring is used in various other resort areas such as golf clubs, swimming areas and camping facilities. So as not to harm migratory birds and respect the MBCA, it is important to use proven and authorized techniques and to settle in.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Wildlife enforcement officers are working very hard to protect wildlife species and ensure that their habitats are respected by businesses and individuals. For more information on scaring techniques appropriate to the areas and species, on regulations applicable to migratory birds or to report incidents, contact ECCC's Public Inquiries Centre at 1-800-668-6767 or at ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca.

Associated links

Migratory Birds Convention Act 

List of Migratory Birds protected in Canada under the MBCA 

Environmental Offenders Registry 

Environmental Damages Fund 


Environment and Climate Change Canada's Twitter page


SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada

For further information: Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)


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