Successful Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Investigations Lead to Convictions
Monday, October 27, 2014
As the result of recent investigations by the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice and Public Safety, several individuals have been convicted of illegal fishing and netting offences.
On August 4 upon receiving a tip from the public, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers began an investigation that led to the arrest of two individuals for their involvement in illegally netting Atlantic salmon in inland waters and for the possession of fish caught in contravention. The two individuals were each convicted on October 7 in Provincial Court in Gander on both counts, one receiving fines totalling $3,000 and the other receiving fines totalling $2,000. Along with the fines, both individuals received a three-year prohibition from being on or near inland waters and or from possessing any recreational fishing licences. Four Atlantic salmon, a net and a boat were seized.
On May 24 and June 1, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers began two separate investigations after receiving complaints of individuals exceeding possession limits in a special trout management zone known as Rodney Pond, which is located near Gander. Due to overfishing, this area has a reduced bag limit as a conservation measure. As a result of the two investigations, a total of six individuals were each convicted on one count of exceeding the possession limit of trout. All six individuals each received a $250 fine, were prohibited from being on or near inland waters for one year, and the trout were forfeited.
On October 8 at Provincial Court in Grand Falls-Windsor, a resident of Glovers Harbour, Notre Dame Bay, was convicted of netting salmon in coastal waters. The individual received a fine of $1,300 and was ordered to forfeit two Atlantic salmon and a net.
On October 15, two residents of Grey River pleaded guilty and were convicted in Provincial Court in Stephenville of netting salmon in coastal waters. They were each fined $2,000 and an additional $2,750 fine was levied in lieu of a boat and motor being forfeited. One of the individuals was also placed on probation for a two-year period which stipulated that the individual was not to be in a boat except for reasons of gathering firewood and trapping.
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officials continue to pursue and investigate individuals who undertake illegal poaching operations. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to protecting the province's resources and to ensuring that they remain available for those who respect legislation concerning the proper management and conservation of fish and game.
As proven by some of the successful investigations mentioned earlier, the public plays a significant role by assisting Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers in catching poachers and is encouraged to report any suspicious activity. This can be done anonymously and toll-free at any time of the day by calling the Fish and Wild Enforcement Division at 1-877-820-0999, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Anonymous online reports can also be submitted at www.stoppoaching.ca orwww.nlcrimestoppers.com .