Three individuals from Newfoundland and Labrador fined for offences under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

January 29, 2021 – Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and Labrador – Environment and Climate Change Canada

Enforcement officers work across the country, from coast to coast to coast, enforcing the laws and regulations that protect and conserve wildlife and its habitat. This work aims to reduce threats and damage to biodiversity for the benefit of all Canadians.

On January 27, 2021, Darren English, Brent Power, and Lawrence Kerrivan, from Branch, Newfoundland and Labrador, were sentenced after being found guilty of one charge each under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 in the provincial court in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and Labrador. The three individuals were charged for the illegal possession of migratory birds. English was ordered to pay $7,000, and Power and Kerrivan were each ordered to pay $5,000. The total amount of $17,000 will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. In addition to the fines, the three individuals are prohibited from applying for, using, or possessing a migratory game bird permit for a period of one year.

The charges resulted from an incident on July 23, 2018, when Fisheries and Oceans Canada officers approached a boat in St. Bride’s harbour to conduct a Fisheries Act inspection. During the inspection, they observed three fish pans containing a number of murres, a seabird locally referred to as “turr.” When asked how they obtained the birds, Mr. English explained that he had taken them from his nets where the birds had inadvertently been caught. The season was not open for hunting migratory birds, and the men did not produce any type of permit to possess them onboard.

As possessing migratory birds without a permit or other authorization or lawful excuse is an offence under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the matter was turned over to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers for investigation. A total of 98 dead murres were seized and turned over to Environment and Climate Change Canada. At sentencing, the seized birds and the fish pans were ordered forfeited to the Crown.

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