Fishery enforcement work summarized

Published on October 26th, 2009 by Rodney

The common misconception on dealing with fishery violations is that little or none is done because whenever people phone in a violation, it is not attended. This perceived lack of enforcement certainly does not motivate people to be part of the solution and it poses no deterrence for those who do not choose to play by the rules. The reality is that fishery officers cannot be everywhere at anytime in this province and when they do crack down on violations, the public never hears about it because the information rarely makes it to the media.

At the most recent Upper Fraser Valley sportfishing advisory committee meeting that I attended in Chilliwack, we once again were briefed by DFO enforcement in the area. A summary on what has been done between January and September 2009 in the Fraser Valley was provided. Many thanks to the Lower Fraser fishery manager for putting these numbers together in the meeting minutes.

There have been 12 illegal fish sales filed with 8 boats seizured. These files are at the charge approval stage.

How officers’ time breakdown:

  • Enforcement/patrol: 47%
  • Other programs (assisting other agencies): 3%
  • Administration (paper work, meeting, training, etc): 50%

Enforcement/patrol time breakdown:

  • Closed time/area: 56%
  • Aboriginal fisheries: 29%
  • Recreational fisheries: 11%
  • Habitat: 3%
  • Commercial/other: 1%

Type of patrol:

  • Vessel: 48%
  • Vehicle: 48%
  • Helicopter: 4%

Type of violations:

  • 100+ gillnet seizures
  • 8 vessel seizures
  • 60+ recreational tickets
  • 25 aboriginal charges
  • 11 Restorative Justice cases
  • 26 habitat charges

Fishery violations should always be reported by phoning 1-800-465-4336 when witnessed.

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