Hefty fine for misreporting crab catches

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An Old Perlican man was fined $30,000 on Oct. 2 for providing false information in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) logbook from 2008 to 2010.

William Carl Hopkins misreported crab catches between fishing areas, a DFO news release states.

In addition to the fine, provincial court Judge Lori Marshall ordered Hopkins to report VMS positional data in 15 minute intervals for a period of three years while fishing snow crab. He was also ordered to forfeit the proceeds from 1,096 pounds of seized crab valued at $1,479.60 to the Crown.

An investigation by fishery officers with DFO identified the false information as part of Operation Gearshift, a real-time and retrospective review of fishing activity in snow crab and northern shrimp fisheries.

The investigation has resulted in convictions of dozens of fishermen with the total amount of penalties (fines and forfeitures) exceeding $1 million.

Illegal fishing activity or violations of fish habitat can be reported by contacting your nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Also at www.nlcrimestoppers.com.

Organizations: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Crime Stoppers

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