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Author Topic: Marine Harvest fined $5000 for illegal possession of wild fish  (Read 700 times)

alwaysfishn

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Marine Harvest fined $5000 for illegal possession of wild fish
« on: January 18, 2012, 12:09:54 PM »

They plead guilty.... were assessed this fine. Small cost for operating their dirty little business in our oceans.  :(
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Disclosure:  This post has not been approved by the feedlot boys, therefore will likely be found to contain errors and statements that are out of context. :-[

chris gadsden

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Re: Marine Harvest fined $5000 for illegal possession of wild fish
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 05:46:58 PM »

They plead guilty.... were assessed this fine. Small cost for operating their dirty little business in our oceans.  :(
At least they did not get off scott free.

chris gadsden

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Re: Marine Harvest fined $5000 for illegal possession of wild fish
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 06:23:11 PM »



http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/2012/01/marine-harvest-pleads-guilty.html


Marine Harvest Pleads Guilty
As people from the Broughton Archipelago, where the crimes occurred, Alert Bay, Sointula, and Port Hardy looked on Marine Harvest pleaded guilty to charges related to illegal possession of wild fish. Marine Harvest made the unprecedented move to avert the 4 - day trial that had been scheduled.

At issue were juvenile pink salmon, almost certainly from Glendale River that ended up falling out of a huge bucket moving Atlantic salmon broodstock into a truck and 3cm herring that ended up in the farm salmon dump in Beaver Cove.

While flawed in many ways, this case made history twice over. It was the first time a private prosecution has ever been taken over and run by the Department of Justice to its conclusion and it is the first time the Norwegian salmon farming industry has been charged for taking wild fish. I would like to thank Todd Gerhart of the Department of Justice for taking this all the way.

With no obvious way out, Marine Harvest, represented by the BC Salmon Farmer lawyer in the Cohen Inquiry Alan Blair, pleaded guilty to a portion of the charge... the part about releasing the herring in the wrong place - that the fish were picked up at Arrow Pass and released at Midsummer. We heard the little herring all went back into the sea and a few of the larger herring were accidentally tossed into the pen with the Atlantic salmon.

This is not the way I heard it from Marine Harvest back in October 2009. Standing on a dock in Beaver Cove, Robert Mountain and I heard a Marine Harvest employee tell us that the smaller herring fell through a sorting grid and were put in totes and dumped in the farm salmon dump in Beaver Cove. We heard this when, tipped by a fish farmer disgusted by the situation contacted me, we went looking for them in the dump. We were met by steaming piles of freshly turned bark and rotten fish.



At 3cm the herring were almost certainly from Kingcome Inlet - a herring stock still in trouble even though it has not been fished for 20 years.

However..... now that Marine Harvest has received a warning - for having the pinks in June 2009, and now being found guilty for having the herring in October 2009, if they are caught with illegal wild fish again the offence rises. DFO asks that we "observe, record, report" so please do so if you see wild fish dying in industrial salmon farming operations. No one in BC is allowed to take fish without a licence. It is not against the law to respect our wild fish.

Marine Harvest's fine is $5,000 which is big compared to similar crimes. Unfortunately it was decided most of the money would go to a south coast hatchery, not to the Broughton to protect the wild fish being impacted by this crime...

Chief Bob "O'wadi" Chamberlin of one of the Broughton Tribes had this to say today:

Marine Harvest convicted and fined for "incidental catch" of Wild Salmon smolts & Herring. DFO "missed" this in their monitoring of this Industry. I am not a statitician... But I believe it highly improbable, if not impossible, that this was the 1st & only time incidental catch occurred. Which points to monitoring gaps within the regulations, license conditions and operational policies.

Sea Lice impacts on Wild Salmon, Disease impacts on Wild Salmon, Incidental catch of Wild Salmon smolts, Herring "tonnage" as incidental catch..... Low Wild Salmon & Herring stock numbers! We need to establish our own Monitoring and Wild species protection measures.

In all seriousness, Whomever isn't for us...is against us. Take stock of those who particpate as FN's in this industry in "our territory." I fail to see how this is respectful of us as Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk peoples choices for "our territory"

Strong words for a peaceful leader.

Meanwhile, in Vancouver Cermaq, largely owned by the Norwegian government, continues to try to sue, individual, Don Staniford who has traveled throughout the world to bring the secrets of this industry to light. Salmon and Goliath: The Case of Don Staniford
www.pacificfreepress.com

Interview with Staniford

Mainstream argues:

"This trial is not about salmon farming practices."

"it's NOT ABOUT KILLING BIRDS & SEALS"...

Cermaq's lawyer: "Mr Staniford is turning this case into a Commission of Inquiry into Norwegian owned salmon farming worldwide."

I beg to differ with Cermaq this is all about salmon farming practices, about killing BC fish and wildlife, about the enormous weight of this worldwide industry bearing down on individuals and communities. In Broughton we were told this industry would be good for us. Well it is not. We have 27 Norwegian fish feedlots and our school is closed, there are 9 people left. The perverse thing is, this industry still can't make a go of it. Yesterday, an Intrafish article says Marine Harvest is "downsizing" laying off 60 people in BC, closing 10 farms temporarily because there is too much farm salmon on the market. Marine Harvest hopes the situation improves in two years.

What are we doing? Risking everything for an industry so greedy and out of control it is hurting itself now.

Thank you to the people in this picture we stood together and witnessed history - may it be the turning of this tide back to the people and this amazing place we live in.





Posted at 08:37 PM | Permalink

chris gadsden

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Re: Marine Harvest fined $5000 for illegal possession of wild fish
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 08:39:11 AM »

Company handed $5,000 fine for wild fish infraction
  By Dan MacLennan, Campbell River Courier-Islander January 20, 2012   Marine Harvest Canada (MHC) has been fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to properly return Pacific herring to the wild in October 2009.

But the plea and sentencing in a Port Hardy courtroom Wednesday was the culmination of a lengthy - and some say historic - case.

Back in June 2009, open net pen opponent Alexandra Morton was told of wild pink salmon smolts spilling onto a Port McNeill dock where Marine Harvest was loading farmed Atlantic salmon from a boat to a truck. Morton investigated and urged the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to investigate and lay charges.

A second incident occurred in late-September/early-October when Pacific herring that got into MHC's Arrow Pass farm were moved to another site along with the farmed fish. Morton urged DFO to act on this incident as well. When DFO failed to take action, Morton and her lawyer Jeff Jones laid their own charges, alleging MHC had possessed wild fish without a license. Morton said herring have been endangered in the Broughton Archipelago area for years.

Jones said a process hearing in Port Hardy on Nov. 26, 2009 determined that there was enough evidence to proceed to trial and a summons was issued to MHC. On April 20, 2010, the Department of Justice took over the case. Morton's charges were stayed while the department charged MHC with four counts. MHC faced two charges of failing to return the incidental wild catch "forthwith to the place from which it was taken," and two counts of failing to return the fish to the wild in a manner that causes them the least harm.

Jones said MHC pled not guilty to the charges and a four-day trial was scheduled for Port Hardy starting Oct. 25, 2011. Two weeks before the trail was to begin, MHC applied to change its plea to guilty, setting the stage for Wednesday's official plea and sentencing before Judge Brian Saunderson.

As part of a plea agreement, MHC pled guilty to one count of failure to return Pacific herring to the place where they were taken. The other three charges were dropped by the Crown

"We did not release those fish at the point where we caught them, and released them in another area," MHC spokesman Ian Roberts told the Courier-Islander Wednesday. "We take responsibility for that. We didn't have all the measures in place that we should have to ensure that we had separated and released those fish, with the least amount of harm, at the place where we caught them."

Roberts said it's quite common for wild fish to swim in and out of open-net pens.

"These herring would have actually enjoyed staying in a pen because of the safety of the pen where they feed on the small pellets of feed and they grow to the size where they don't leave the pen," he said. "That's why they became part of the population when we moved our fish from point A to point B.

"We do take this very seriously. Although incidental catch is pretty rare at aquaculture farms, we do take measures to ensure that we are returning those fish at the place where they may have been intercepted.

When we were grading our fish. We have now installed fish separators that ensure that we're effectively separating and returning non-aquaculture fish back to the same waters alive."

In a release Wednesday, MHC's Managing Director Vincent Erenst said "We certainly did not intend to harm any fish during the transport of our fish, and have made significant changes to our operations and practices to prevent this type of incident from occurring again. We accept our responsibility in this matter."

MHC was handed a $500 fine to be paid to DFO and a $4,500 fine to go to the Tsolum River Restoration Society.

Morton was pleased with the outcome but felt the fine should have been directed to First Nations fisheries efforts in the Broughton Archipelago, where the fish were taken.

"I believe it's the first charge ever laid successfully against this industry," she said. "I really thought salmon farming was above the law, so this was the first hard evidence that I've had that the law can, on occasion, deal with this industry. I'm hoping that the public will realize that they can do this. If they see wild fish being killed by the salmon farming industry, they will step forward, because a further charge for this company would be an aggravation.

"Five thousand dollars is small, in terms of the corporation Marine Harvest, but it's actually large when you compare it to case law. Commercial fishermen that have been charged for similar type infractions, this was higher than a lot of the ones that they cited."

Meanwhile Jones said the case was historic.

"What's important is that this is the first time that a private prosecution has resulted in intervention by the Crown and then a complete follow-up resulting in a guilty plea," he said. "Without Alexandra Morton's efforts, this matter would never have proceeded. So what does that tell us about our regulatory agencies, the relationship with industry, and the concern of the public?

Those are the troubling questions."

DFO was not available for comment at press time.

StillAqua

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Re: Marine Harvest fined $5000 for illegal possession of wild fish
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 10:28:06 AM »

I have to give big kudos to Ms Morton and DOJ for taking this on. Perhaps it will lead to inproved fish handling practices at farm harvest time. Also interesting to hear about herring that make themselves a happy home in the farm pens with the Atlantics.
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silver ghost

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Re: Marine Harvest fined $5000 for illegal possession of wild fish
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 01:55:22 PM »

$5000 for a company like marine harvest is a COMPLETE JOKE. They donate way more than that to small enhancement societies...5 grand in fines is nothing for them
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