Three recreational anglers from Alberta fined a total of $30,000 for numerous violations of the Fisheries Act
June 27, 2023
Prince Rupert, B.C. - The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canada’s fisheries resources, and the habitats that support them, for generations to come. Fishery officers with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) work hard to conserve and protect the environment by enforcing the rules and regulations set out in Canada’s Fisheries Act. Failure to comply may lead to charges and fines for individuals and companies.
During a sentencing hearing on May 26, 2023, in Prince Rupert Provincial Court, three recreational fishers from Alberta were ordered to each pay a fine of $10,000, for a total amount of $30,000, and are prohibited from fishing for two years. This follows a guilty judgement handed down on October 17, 2022, for Giorri Anufriev, Anikita Barsukoff and Joseph Martushevi. These individuals were found guilty of numerous violations of the Fisheries Act that occurred between July 13 and 18, 2019, including possessing fish in excess of their daily licence limit, possessing fish where the species could not be readily determined, and possessing fish where the size could not be readily determined.
An investigation by fishery officers was triggered four years ago by a tip from a concerned member of the public about a group of men trying to process a large amount of pacific halibut. Upon inspection at a commercial outlet, fishery officers found that, contrary to the conditions of licence, the group had cut up their catch into chunks so the size and number of fish could not be determined. Fishery officers located the anglers at their hotel and found five more coolers of various species of rockfish, including lingcod and Yelloweye—a species that is illegal to retain recreationally. The halibut, totalling in excess of 150 lbs, were seized and used as evidence for the investigation.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to enforce the Fisheries Act. Fishery officers respond to priority issues through a variety of methods, including aerial, ocean, river, on-the-ground, patrols and through education. DFO also asks the public for information on illegal activities or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call DFO Pacific region’s toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336, or email the details to: DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
British Columbia has rules and regulations that apply to recreational fishing to ensure the sustainability of the fishery. These regulations include possession limits and minimum or maximum size limits (allowing fish to reach an age to allow sexual reproduction).
Fishery officers measure and determine the species of recreational catch to determine if a fisher is in compliance. Also, harvesters cannot process fish until they return to their usual place of residence.
Anglers should refer to the B.C. Sport Fishing regulations, Fishery Notices, or use the FishingBC App to access up-to-date information on recreational fisheries.
Media Relations, Pacific Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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