Illegal Boundary Bay crab fishing nets 4 men $287,000 in fines

Canadian fisheries officials announced Monday they had issued more than a quarter-million dollars in fines related to illegal crab fishing.

The penalties came after Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) investigations into the commercial crab fleet operating in Boundary Bay, and several convictions in provincial court.

One of the offenders, Han Van lam who is the master of the vessel John Lam, was given a fishing ban for the first 14 days of the 2024 and 2025 commercial season openings. It is the first time the courts have imposed this prohibition, according to the DFO.

Lam pleaded guilty in August to illegally fishing in U.S. waters off Boundary Bay in 2019 and 2020, a violation of the Fisheries Act. The DFO says he was also fined $50,000 and forfeited 96 traps.

The biggest fine — $160,000 — was handed to Hoan Trung Do, master of the Bounty Hunter, who in June also pleaded guilty to fishing in U.S. waters and to setting more traps than were allowed under his licence in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Michael Hau, master of the Muoi H, was fined $20,000 and forfeited more than $19,000 in value from his catch for not scanning traps in 2018, 2019 and 2020, while Viet Dam, master of the Pacific Falcon, was fined $38,000 and forfeited 83 traps for fishing in U.S. waters and using more traps than permitted, the DFO added.

In total, the DFO said the fines and penalties against the four men amounted to $287,000.

The agency urges anyone aware of Fisheries Act violations to call its toll-free reporting line at 1800-465-4336.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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