Two commercial crab harvesters face significant fines for Fisheries Act violations in Rivers Inlet and Chatham Sound

News release

March 16, 2023

Port Hardy & 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. Fishery officers with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) work hard to conserve and protect the environment. Two recent court cases demonstrate the potential costs, both financial and legal, for those convicted of violating the Fisheries Act.

In the most recent case, on January 18, 2023, in Prince Rupert Provincial Court, commercial crab harvester Truc Hoang Le was found guilty of numerous violations of Fisheries Act and fined a total of $20,000. Mr. Le was fined $18,000 for failing to comply with the conditions of his commercial crab license between April 15 and May 4, 2018, in the Chatham Sound area near Prince Rupert. Mr. Le, vessel master of the CFV MARINE HUNTER, failed to follow the regulations by ensuring that the electronic monitoring system was accurately monitoring the vessel 24 hours per day, seven days per week, while engaged in fishing. Mr. Le was fined an additional $2,000 for additional violations of the Act.

Late last year, on December 21, 2022, in Port Hardy Provincial Court, commercial crab harvester Sou Tac Ma was found guilty of two violations of the Fisheries Act and fined a total of $44,000. Mr. Ma, vessel master of the GOLDEN PHOENIX, was fined $21,500 for fishing commercially for crab in Rivers Inlet during a closed time between March 27 and April 2, 2019, and $22,500 for fishing without a valid commercial harvest licence in the same area between April 1 and April 15, 2019.   

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-led 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 1-800-465-4336, or email the details to

Additional multimedia

Images presented as evidence from data recorded on the CFV MARINE HUNTER. Deckhand baiting hooks for a long line; the vessel was only licensed to fish crab by trap or pot.

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Media Relations, Pacific Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada,

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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