DFO Investigates Fish Processing Facility Near Prince Rupert
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is conducting what it describes as a large-scale forensic audit of a fish processing facility in the Prince Rupert area.
A news release says it's following up reports of alleged illegal activity on the north coast that includes fish bartered or sold in exchange for the cost of processing or other services, such as financial loans.
Conservation and protection officers are urging the public to come forward with information.
[PHOTO: Fisheries & Oceans Canada]
The department says it expects the audit to expose potentially illegal acts, but says it also needs to hear from anyone in the public who may have sent fish to the processing plant, which it does not identify in its statement.
Investigators are especially interested if portions of a customer's catch were not returned, or if another species was returned in place of the original fish.
The release says fines for illegal bartering or sales of fish under the Fisheries Act can be significant for a first offence.
=== DFO NEWS RELEASE ===
Conservation and Protection fishery officers are requesting information from the public concerning illegal sales and bartering of fish in the Prince Rupert Area. Attached are generic photos for your use.
· DFO is currently engaged in a large-scale forensic audit of a fish processing facility within the Prince Rupert Area.
· The Department is investigating instances of fish being bartered or sold in exchange for the cost of processing services and/or other services rendered, including financial loans, and are asking members of the public to come forward and report any information they have.
· DFO believes that instances of illegal bartering and sales of fish will be identified as the audit progresses through a forensic investigation, and is asking the public to come forward.
· If any members of the public believe that they had fish processed and portions of their catch were not returned, or they received another species in return, DFO would also like to hear from you.
· DFO would like to remind the public that the bartering of fish is illegal, and is considered a sale under the Fisheries Act of Canada. Fines for illegal sales of fish under the Fisheries Act can be significant for the first offence.
· Anyone with information is asked to please contact DFO Investigators at 250 -627-3401.
The Government of Canada is committed to safeguarding the long-term health and productivity of Canada’s fisheries resources, and the habitat that supports them, for generations to come. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to prosecute offenders under the Fisheries Act. It ensures and promotes compliance with the Act and other laws and regulations through a combination of land, air, and sea patrols, as well as education and awareness activities. As part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s work to end illegal activity, the Department asks the public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336.
Strategic Media Relations Advisor/Conseillère stratégique avec les médias,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region / Pêche et Océans Canada, région du pacifique
200 - 401 rue Burrard St., Vancouver, BC V6C 3S4