DFO Investigates Illegal Crab Dump Near China Creek
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans wants to know who's responsible for a large-scale illegal discard of dungeness crabs.
Members of the DFO in Smithers were informed by the BC Conservation Officer service on Tuesday that a huge number crabs were dumped off the side of Highway 16 near China Creek, between Witset and New Hazelton.
They estimate over 250 crabs were discarded over the bank.
Fisheries officers say the incident is a violation of the Fisheries Act, and could be linked to the ongoing illegal fish sales in the North Coast region.
They suspect the crabs originated in the Prince Rupert area.
The DFO says illegal seafood sales compromise the long-term management and sustainability of the resource and have economic impacts on those in the industry.
They could pose health and safety risks, since illegally-caught seafood are not subject to health and safety inspections.
If you can help fisheries officers find those responsible, you can call the DFO's 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.
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The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is seeking the public’s assistance around a large-scale illegal discard of crabs.
On Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019, 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. Fishery officers estimate that over 250 Dungeness crabs were illegally discarded over the bank. This incident is in violation of the Fisheries Act and its Regulations, which prohibits the waste of any fish that is suitable for human consumption. It is believed that this serious occurrence is linked with ongoing illegal fish sale issues in the North Coast and that the crab possibly originated from the Prince Rupert area.
Illegal seafood sales are of serious concern to the Department 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. Only fish authorized for public sale are subject to required health and safety inspections.
If anyone has any information about this incident they are asked to please 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.