4 fishers fined combined $17K for fishing violations near Galiano Island: DFO

4 fishers fined combined $17K for fishing violations near Galiano Island: DFO
Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) says four recreational anglers are facing thousands of dollars in fines after pleading guilty to Fisheries Act violations off Vancouver Island.

On May 23, 2022, fishery officers on patrol near Galiano Island encountered a 22-foot aluminum fishing vessel with seven people on board fishing for bottom fish, the DFO says in a statement.

“The fishers stated there were no other fish on board other than those in the fish tote on deck; however, a more thorough inspection revealed additional hidden rockfish, including three Yelloweye rockfish, which are illegal to retain,” the statement reads.

The DFO says that on May 8 in Victoria Provincial Court, Bui Choy, Lam Pean Kwok, Suk Ching Friennie Lam and Jimmy Tuan-Nhi Luong pleaded guilty to “numerous violations” to the Fisheries Act and were fined a combined $17,000.

The fishers, Choy, Lam and Luong, were each fined $3,500 for over-possession of rockfish and an additional $1,500 for obstruction, while the vessel master, Kwok, was fined $2,000 for making false or misleading statements to a fishery officer.

All fishing gear seized as evidence was also forfeited, reads the statement issued Tuesday.

It comes as monitoring and research programs show inshore rockfish, especially within the inland waters of Vancouver Island, are at “low levels of abundance,” according to the DFO.

Yelloweye rockfish are listed as a species of particular concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, and Rockfish Conservation Areas have been established throughout the B.C. coast to alleviate further population decline.

“We need your help to protect and conserve these species,” the DFO says on its website, which shows maps pinpointing the conservation areas.

People with information about illegal fishing activities are asked to contact the department toll-free at 1-800-465-4336 or by email.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!