More than 100 illegally caught fish seized by Vancouver Island RCMP

CTV News Vancouver Island reports: Over 100 illegally caught rockfish have been seized from four men on Vancouver Island.

The seizure took place on Sept. 7, when a member of the RCMP’s South Vancouver Island Traffic Services stopped a pickup truck that was towing a large trophy fishing boat with no trailer lights on.

Once stopped, the officer determined that the trailer had no brakes, which constituted a safety violation. While writing up the infraction, the officer noticed an “odour of fish” coming from the back of the truck and looked in. There, the officer found two large coolers full of fish.

According to police, four more coolers of fish were located inside the boat, resulting in four men being found in possession of rockfish well over their possession limit along with lingcod that were undersized and illegally kept.

The RCMP said 120 fish were found among the six coolers, far exceeding the possession limit for each person.

With a total of six coolers found, the RCMP contacted Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to assist with the investigation.

In total, officers found 71 illegally caught China rockfish (of which the limit is one per person per day), 27 Canary rockfish (the limit of which is three per person per day), two Black rockfish, and two Vermillion rockfish. The coolers also contained eight sculpin, three flounders, and 12 ling cods, three of which were legal size while nine were undersized.

The four men found in the truck are currently under investigation by the DFO and South Vancouver Island Traffic Services for illegal possession of fish contrary to the Fisheries Act and Motor Vehicle Act infractions.

While the incident is under investigation, police say they will be sending their recommended charges to the Crown soon.

“It is these types of flagrant violations that undermine our coastal fisheries that are enjoyed by so many law-abiding and conscientious members of the sportfishing community on our island,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.

Anyone with information on the incident or other illegal fishing activities is asked to call the DFO report hotline at 1-800-465-4336 or any RCMP detachment.

Source: CTV News Vancouver Island

2 Replies to “More than 100 illegally caught fish seized by Vancouver Island RCMP”

  1. Let’s have a look see at this incident:

    On Sept. 7, a member of the RCMP’s South Vancouver Island Traffic Services stopped a pickup truck that was towing a large trophy fishing boat with no trailer lights on. Once stopped, the officer determined that the trailer had no brakes, which constituted a safety violation. While writing up the infraction, the officer noticed an “odor of fish” coming from the back of the truck and looked in. There, the officer found two large coolers full of fish.

    According to police, four more coolers of fish were located inside the boat, resulting in four men being found in possession of rock fish well over their possession limit along with Ling Cod that were undersized and illegally kept.

    Now what I have to say by no means should be misinterpreted as condoning the illegal fishing activities of these individuals. I am not defending any of their actions by any means.

    As we all know, the Police officer involved did have legal right to stop these people as per the Highway Traffic Act. My main concern is, was this a case of illegal search and seizure? Since the officer did not stop the vehicle for this type of infraction and as it appears was not given permission to search the truck, nor was Conservation Officer present at the time. You can bet a good lawyer will take this into consideration. Technicalities? Yes! In the meantime, proper procedures should always be a priority when dealing with these types of perpetrators.

    I am no “Legal Eagle” by a long shot but I do not want to see these guys get away with decimating the fish stock.

    1. A conservation officer does not need to be present to administer fisheries act offenses. I also do not believe this was an illegal search. Peace officers have the right to check catches to make sure the fisheries regulations are being adhered to. As the coolers were in plain view, and emitting the odour of fish, the officer has the right to inspect the catch. Six coolers in plain view would raise a red flag if there were only four people in the vehicle. China rockfish are covered under a special regulation on the west coast of BC as their numbers are dwindling. Taking 71 china rockfish could have a severe impact on this species stocks in a given area. Kudos to this officer for been diligent in his job. I could only hope for a seizure of the boat, trailer and truck as well as all fishing gear, along with a very hefty fine to each individual involved in the flagrant rape of our fish stocks.

Leave a Reply

Back to top