2010 Inland Fish Enforcement Activities Underway
Director of Communications
Department of Justice
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
With salmon rivers in Newfoundland opening today and rivers in Labrador opening June 15, Inland Fish Enforcement (IFE) officers will be vigilant in protecting these rivers from poachers and other illegal activity. Operations for the 2010 season began in April and organized poaching and the commercialization of salmon continue to be a focus of IFE officers. Special investigations are a major component of operations and officers will also be conducting check stations throughout the season to ensure compliance with fisheries and wildlife legislation.
Since April, IFE officers have laid 51 charges against 29 individuals for illegal trout and salmon activities including: illegal netting, illegal possession and fishing during closed times. Officers have also dealt with seven wildlife offences involving hunting and firearms infractions, 21 all-terrain vehicle offences and have seized firearms, ammunition, illegal drugs and an illegal salmon net. The majority of violations dealt with by IFE involve the illegal possession and netting of Atlantic salmon in rivers and coastal waters.
This season's operations will build upon a successful 2009 campaign which saw officers lay 283 charges against 96 individuals, seize 18 illegal nets, 88 Atlantic salmon, nine boats, four vehicles and a variety of fishing-related equipment. Fines related to these violations exceeded $89,000. As well, courts have imposed significant prohibitions on individuals including restrictions from fishing or holding a recreational fishing license and from being at or near Canadian fishing waters for up to five years.
Inland Fish Enforcement was established in 2004 by the Provincial Government in response to serious concerns of conservation groups and recreational anglers that illegal poaching was ruining salmon and trout stocks. Since then, the Provincial Government has invested over $12 million to protect these valuable resources. Inland Fish Enforcement will continue to work with conservation and community groups across the province to preserve trout and salmon stocks.
The public is reminded that they can anonymously report suspected poaching activity 24-hours a day, toll free at 1-877-820-0999. For more information on Inland Fish Enforcement or to learn how you can help, visit www.stoppoaching.ca.