Charges Laid Under New Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division
Director of Communications
Department of Justice
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Officers with the new Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice arrested two individuals on May 22 for allegedly illegally netting salmon in Bay St. George on the west coast of the province.
Following surveillance of the area, officers arrested two residents of Stephenville Crossing for a variety of charges including illegal netting and possession of salmon and cod. Officers seized a 120-foot gill net, five Atlantic salmon, 30 cod and 12 grams of marijuana.
With salmon and sea trout beginning to enter many rivers on the west coast of the province, enforcement officers are carrying out regular patrols along coastal and inland waters in a continuing effort to protect salmon and trout stocks. It is critical that these resources are protected for future generations.
Since the commencement of field operations on May 11, officers have laid a total of 49 charges, including 37 for fish-related offences and a further 12 for a range of all-terrain vehicle and wildlife violations.
Since January of this year, Provincial Court has handed down fines in excess of $15,000 and ordered the forfeiture of two ATVs, an 18-foot boat and motor, five illegal nets, 50 Atlantic salmon, 28 brook trout and a firearm. The courts have also ordered prohibitions ranging from six months to 10 years for individuals convicted of poaching in recognition of the serious impact that poaching has on fish stocks.
Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador provided $2.1 million for the establishment of the new Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division which was previously the Inland Fish Enforcement Division. The expanded division allows for an increased emphasis on special investigations and organized poaching activity such as the illegal netting of salmon, trout and arctic char, along with issues such as jigging and exceeding bag limits.
Suspected poaching activity can be reported anonymously to fish and wildlife officers 24 hours a day, toll free at 1-877-820-0999. For more information on fish and wildlife enforcement visit www.stoppoaching.ca.