May 3, 2019 10:09 am

Federal DFO officers investigating illegal fish sales at B.C. processing facility

A DFO Conservation and Protection fishery officer in an undated file photo. Officers are investigating illegal sales and bartering of fish in the Prince Rupert, B.C., area.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is asking the public to come forward as it investigates illegal sales and bartering of fish at a B.C. processing facility.

The department said Thursday that it is in the middle of a “large-scale forensic audit” of the unnamed facility, which is in the Prince Rupert area.

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According to a release, conservation and protection fishery officers are investigating instances of fish being sold or bartered in exchange for processing and other services, including financial loans.

“DFO believes that instances of illegal bartering and sales of fish will be identified as the audit progresses through a forensic investigation, and is asking the public to come forward,” the release says.

The department is also asking anyone who had fish processed and didn’t receive portions of their catch, or anyone who received a different species in return, to contact them immediately.

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The DFO says in its release that bartering of fish is illegal and falls under illegal sale, which can result in a fine of up to $100,000 and up to two years in jail.

Anyone with information is asked to contact DFO investigators at 250-627-3401.

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