Two men who pleaded guilty to illegal crab fishing at Burnaby’s Barnet Marine Park this summer were fined $3,000 each in Vancouver Provincial Court on Dec. 31.
Antonio Quiba Navarro, 60, and Domingo Nico Amante Viray, 32, each pleaded guilty to:
- catching and retaining undersized Dungeness crab
- catching and retaining more than their daily crab quota
They faced other charges, including selling or possessing illegally caught fish, but those charges were stayed.
The Crown told the court that a fisheries officer saw the men on June 12 with multiple bags and stopped them to inspect their load. He found 33 Dungeness crabs, 21 of them undersized.
The officer then asked the pair to pull in their traps and found they had no names on them. The crabs inside were measured and released.
The Crown said each person was allowed four crabs by law, leaving them 25 over the limit.
The court heard both men had valid fishing licences and should have been aware of the four-crab rule. The Crown said their contravention of the British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations put them in violation of the federal Fisheries Act.
The men told the judge they were aware of the regulations but said they were unclear.
The Crown told the judge the regulations on size exist to protect crab-breeding stock.
The judge noted Barnet Marine Park is “notorious for being overfished.”
Both men were contrite.
“We acknowledge our mistake and we apologize for our big mistake,” Viray said through a Tagalog interpreter.
The judge ordered forfeiture of the crab traps and gave the men one year to pay their fines.