Illegal crab harvesting and potential sales involve 3 enforcement agencies and result in fine of $7,500
June 17, 2021
Surrey Provincial Court, B.C. - On May 19, 2021, in Surrey Provincial Court, the Honourable Judge Satinder Sidhu found recreational crab harvester Laird Goddyn guilty of violations of Canada’s Fisheries Act. Justice Sidhu fined Mr. Goddyn $7,500 and banned him from holding tidal and non-tidal fishing licences for a period of 5 years. Mr. Goddyn’s fishing vessel, which was seized as evidence, was ordered returned to Mr. Goddyn, subject to a $4,638.48 storage fee.
Mr. Goddyn was identified as a harvester of interest to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Conservation and Protection Branch in Langley following information shared by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The U.S. officers were investigating Mr. Goddyn for illegal crabbing activities on April 24, 2018, that potentially involved sales in Canada.
On June 30, 2018, the RCMP contacted Langley Detachment fishery officers to alert them to the fact that, during a recreational fisheries compliance inspection at White Rock’s Elgin Park Marina, officers found Mr. Goddyn with a large amount of crabs.
Mr. Goddyn was in possession of 89 crab; the legal daily recreational possession limit is 4. The crab were measured then released alive back into the water, and Mr. Goddyn’s fishing vessel and cell phones were seized as evidence.
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, or email the details to DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
In both Canada and Washington State, people may fish for crab either recreationally or commercially. Both, require licences and have licence conditions including: open and closed fishing times, size limits, possession limits, and restrictions on the retention of female crabs. Crab that have been caught recreationally are for personal use and cannot be bought, bartered or sold or offered for sale or barter in neither Canada nor Washington State.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s fishery officers routinely work closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers with respect to various fisheries, which include the recreational and commercial crab fishery. They also routinely work in collaboration with the RCMP, who also have Fishery Officer designation, and are empowered to conduct fisheries inspections.
The Court ordered that the $7,500 be used for the care and management of the fishery.
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Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
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