RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 15, 2012) - A lower mainland commercial crab harvester was fined $75,000 in Richmond Provincial Court after being found guilty of numerous violations of the Fisheries Act.
Dinh Ly Hoang appeared in court for sentencing on May 2, 2012, after pleading guilty to two counts of failing to comply with the conditions of his commercial crab fishing license. He was convicted of several violations including fishing in an illegal area, being in possession of undersize Dungeness crab, and catching and retaining flounder without a license.
Mr. Hoang was ordered to pay a total of $75,000 in fines, with $60,000 to be directed to the conservation and protection of shellfish. The undersized crabs and flounder in his possession when he was charged were seized and subsequently sold, and the proceeds totaling $1,427.50 were forfeited to the Crown. This is Mr. Hoang's second conviction. In June 2008, he was convicted on engaging in similar illegal crab fishing practices, fined $20,000 and placed under probation for 180 days.
The recent charges were laid against Mr. Hoang following an incident on November 24, 2010, when Fisheries and Oceans Canada fishery officers observed his vessel operating in Roberts Bank during a navigational closure (between Deltaport and the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal). Upon investigation of the catch on the vessel, the officers identified numerous violations of the conditions of Mr. Hoang's commercial licence and seized 42 undersized crab and 42 flounder.
To protect Dungeness crab stocks, harvesters are required to return female and undersized crabs immediately to the water. Harvesters can only catch males that are large enough to have mated at least twice (at least 165 millimetre in width, measured in a straight line through the widest part of the carapace, or shell, from outside the points), and are advised to measure crabs using a caliper device.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada acts to end illegal fishing activities. As part of this work, the Department asks the general 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 reporting line at 1-800-465-4336.