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250 Dungeness crabs illegally dumped near northern B.C. highway

Fisheries officials estimate some 250 Dungeness crabs were illegally dumped near Hazelton earlier this month. Courtesy: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Federal officials are investigating a “large scale illegal discard of crabs” in B.C.’s northwest.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) says Smithers detachment officials were notified about hundreds of Dungeness crabs dumped on the side of Highway 16 between Moricetown and Hazelton, near China Creek on April 2.

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Investigators arrived to find approximately 250 crabs left on the bank, a violation of Fisheries Act regulations, which forbid the waste of fish suitable for human consumption.

WATCH: DFO seizes hundreds of illegal crab traps in Boundary Bay

Click to play video: 'DFO seizes hundreds of illegal crab traps in Boundary Bay' DFO seizes hundreds of illegal crab traps in Boundary Bay
DFO seizes hundreds of illegal crab traps in Boundary Bay – Feb 8, 2019

DFO says illegal seafood sales can compromise the long-term management and sustainability of fish stocks, and “diminish the significant economic benefit from a legal fishery to coastal communities.”

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Such sales can also potentially lead to health and safety issues, it says.

DFO is appealing for anyone with information on the crab dump to call the Observe Record Report line at 1-800-465-4336.

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