Campbell River fishing guide fined $3,500 for over-possession of crab and making false statements to a fishery officer

News Release

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – On March 20, 2017, Christian Steinbach, owner and operator of Crabby’s Fishing Charters, pleaded guilty in Campbell River Provincial Court to violations of the Fisheries Act. The Honourable Justice Doherty imposed a total penalty of $3,500: a $1,500 fine for over-possession of crab and $2,000 for making false statements to a Fishery Officer. Judge Doherty also prohibited Mr. Steinbach from engaging in crab fishing, and various other activities related to crab fishing, for one year, plus ordered that he forfeit the crab traps seized as evidence.

Commercial, recreational, and First Nations harvest Pacific Dungeness crab from Alaska to California. Management of the recreational fishery differs from that for the commercial harvest as the emphasis is on maintaining productive stocks through catch limits. Excess harvesting threatens conservation. It also could result in management changes or closures, diminish the significant economic benefit from the fishery to coastal communities, recreational fisheries, commercial harvesters and tourism, and threaten the traditional food source for Indigenous people.

The Government of Canada is committed to safeguarding the long-term health and productivity of Canada’s fisheries resources, and the habitat that supports them, for generations to come. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to prosecute offenders under the Fisheries Act. It ensures and promotes compliance with the Act and other laws and regulations through a combination of land, air, and sea patrols, as well as education and awareness activities. As part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s work to end illegal activity, the Department asks the 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.

Quick Facts

  • On November 18, 2016, during a routine vehicle patrol, Mr. Steinbach was observed alone on his vessel fishing crabs in Oyster Bay, near Campbell River, B.C.

  • Fishery officers kept Mr. Steinbach under observation while he pulled in his traps and proceeded to a nearby marina to dock.

  • Mr. Steinbach was found to be in possession of 16 live crabs, which is well above his legal fishing limit of four crabs per day.

  • Mr. Steinbach’s sentence included a one-year ban on each of the following: crab fishing; possessing crab gear outside his home; possessing crab unless legally purchased; being with anyone crab fishing, and holding or applying for any personal or commercial crab fishing licences, except for Tidal Sport.

  • Mr. Steinbach, a seasoned fishing guide with over 30 years of fishing experience throughout the West Coast, has previous convictions for violations of the Fisheries Act.


Leri Davies, Strategic Media Relations Advisor
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
Tel: (604) 666-8675   Cell: 604-612-6837


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