Two men were each fined $ 3,000 and banned from crab fishing after pleading guilty in June to illegal crab fishing. | Sollina Images / Getty Images
Two men pleaded guilty this summer to illegal crab fishing in Burnaby’s Barnet Marine Park 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:
catch and retain undersized Dungeness crab
catch and retain more than their daily crab quota
They faced other charges, including the sale or possession of illegally caught fish, but those charges were upheld.
The Crown told the court that a fisheries officer saw the men on June 12 with multiple bags and stopped them to inspect their cargo. He found 33 Dungeness crabs, 21 of which were undersized.
The officer then asked the couple to pull in their skins and found that they had no names on them. The crabs inside were measured and released.
The Crown said each person was allowed by law four crabs, leaving them 25 over the limit.
The court heard that both men had a valid fishing license and should be aware of the four-crab rule. The Crown said their violation of 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 that the regulations on size exist to protect crab breeding.
The judge noted that Barnett Marine Park is “notorious for overfishing.”
Both men were remorseful.
“We acknowledge our mistake and we apologize for our big mistake,” Viray said through a Tagalog interpreter.
The judge ordered the crabs from the crabs and gave the men one year to pay their fines.