A recreational angler was fined for illegally fishing in Rockfish Conservation Area near Nanaimo. On April 5, in Nanaimo Provincial Court, Colin (Richard) Wood, a recreational angler, was found guilty of several Fisheries Act violations and fined $6,000.
The fines are primarily for obstructing a fishery officer by throwing fish overboard ($2,500), making false or misleading statements to a fishery officer ($2,500), and over-possessing Chinook Salmon ($1,000). Additionally, his fishing gear was forfeited as evidence, and he is prohibited from engaging in various fishing activities for one year.
On August 31, during a routine vessel patrol, fishery officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)’s Nanaimo Conservation and Protection Detachment observed a vessel seemingly fishing inside the Northumberland Channel Rockfish Conservation Area. The area is located south east of Snake Island and along the western coast of Gabriola Island.
As the officers approached, they saw Wood throwing away fish. They also found evidence of freshly killed fish on his vessel. When questioned, Wood denied fishing, disposing of fish, or acknowledging that he was in a conservation area.
DFO asks the public for information on any illegal activities that may contravene the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call DFO Pacific region’s toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336, or email DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca. Rockfish Conservation Areas are established throughout BC coast to prevent further declines to rockfish populations. Within RCAs, inshore rockfish are protected from all mortality associated with recreational and commercial fisheries.
Recreational and commercial fishing is not available in these areas designated as RCA.