The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is seeking the public’s assistance to find the perpetrators of a large-scale illegal discard of crabs.
On April 2, fishery officers in the Smithers detachment received information from the BC Conservation Officer Service about a significant amount of Dungeness crab discarded off the side of Highway 16 between Moricetown and Hazleton, near China Creek.
The officers estimated more than 250 Dungeness crabs were illegally discarded over the bank. This incident violates the Fisheries Act and its regulations, which prohibits the waste of any fish that is suitable for human consumption.
DFO believes this serious occurrence is linked to ongoing illegal fish sale issues on the north coast and that the crab possibly originated in the Prince Rupert area.
“Illegal seafood sales are a serious concern for DFO as they compromise the long-term management and sustainability of the resource, diminish the significant economic benefit from a legal fishery to coastal communities, and may give rise to health and safety concerns,” a press release stated. “Only fish authorized for public sale are subject to required health and safety inspections.”
Individuals with information on this or any other incident can call the 24-hour Observe Record Report line at 1-800-465-4336, fishery officer Brodie Cardinal at (250) 847-5937 or fishery officer Zachary Fournier at (250) 847-9684.