Significant penalties for commercial vessel master caught fishing illegally near Prince Rupert

News release

March 14, 2023 

Prince Rupert, B.C. - The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canada’s wildlife and biodiversity. This includes safeguarding the long-term health and productivity of Canada’s fisheries resources and the habitat that supports them, for generations to come.

On October 31st, 2022, commercial fisherman Adrian Slavko Kern was fined a total of $49,704.68 for violating Canada’s Fisheries Act. Mr. Kern pleaded guilty in Prince Rupert Provincial Court and was ordered to pay a fine of $25,000 for illegally setting fishing gear plus an additional $24,706.48 for the illegal sale of fish. The court judgement also prohibited Mr. Kern from applying for a new commercial fishing licence and from fishing under any commercial licence for a period of 8 months.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to enforce the Fisheries Act. DFO’s enforcement program uses a wide range of tools to do this by pursuing a risk-based, intelligence-supported approach. The Department deploys fishery officers to respond to priority issues through a variety of methods, including aerial, ocean, river, on-the-ground, night and plainclothes patrols. In addition to these patrols, DFO dedicates officers to complex and large investigations, as well as education and awareness activities.

As part of the Department’s work to disrupt and prevent illegal activity, DFO asks the public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, DFO Pacific region’s toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4366, or email the details to

Quick facts

  • Between September 13 and 19, 2018, Mr. Kern, vessel master of the MANDALA NO 1, was fishing commercially for halibut and sablefish. During this time he illegally set fishing gear in the Chatham Sound area near Prince Rupert, which was closed for harvest. 

  • Mr. Kern has three prior convictions for violations under the Fisheries Act from 2003, 2005 and 2020, which the Judge took into consideration in his sentencing.

Associated links


Media Relations, Pacific Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada,

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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