Three fishermen who abused, killed seal pup off N.S. receive hefty fines

Three Nova Scotia fishermen who were captured on video abusing and killing a seal pup on their boat have been handed hefty fines and a fishing prohibition.

Prosecutor Alex Pink says Mark MacKenzie, the boat's captain, was ordered to pay a fine of $7,500 and banned from fishing from Jan. 1, 2019, until June 30, 2019, the most lucrative time for the groundfish fishery off Yarmouth.

Jay Alexander Jenkins was fined $3,500, while Brendon Douglas James Porter must pay a fine of $2,500.

A trial for the three was supposed to begin Tuesday in Yarmouth provincial court, but they pleaded guilty to a charge under the Fishery General Regulations relating to the release of incidental catch.

The matter gained national attention last year when a video surfaced on Facebook showing a seal being taunted and prodded with a buoy, and being kicked amid laughter as one man suggests killing it while another talks of getting a machete.

Pink says the penalties are significant and follow intense public condemnation of the abuse.