The Department of Fisheries and Oceans wants the public’s help tracking down those responsible for an illegal, large-scale dumping of Dungeness crabs this week near Hazelton.
On April 2, fishery officers in the Smithers Detachment received information from the BC Conservation Officer Service about 250 Dungeness crabs illegally discarded off the side of Hwy 16 between Moricetown and Hazleton, near China Creek. The incident is in violation of the Fisheries Act and its Regulations, which prohibits the waste of any fish that is suitable for human consumption.
DFO is calling this a “serious occurrence” and believe it is linked with ongoing illegal fish-sale issues on the North Coast, possibly originating from the Prince Rupert area.
“Illegal seafood sales are of serious concern to the Department as they compromise the long-term management and sustainability of the resource, diminish the significant economic benefit from a legal fishery to coastal communities, and may give rise to health and safety concerns,” a DFO spokesperson said in a press release. “Only fish authorized for public sale are subject to required health and safety inspections.”
If anyone has any information about this incident they are asked to please call the 24-hour Observe Record Report line at 1-800-465-4336, fishery officer Brodie Cardinal at (250) 847-5937 or fishery officer Zachary Fournier at (250) 847-9684.