Federal fisheries officials are investigating the dumping of an estimated 680 kg (1,500 lbs.) of Dungeness crab in Maple Ridge.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said it appears the crab, which was initially believed to be just 700 pounds, was dumped around July 24 or July 25.
The crabs were found in a farmer’s field in the Albion Flats near Jim Robson way and Tamarack Lane, and have begun to rot and reek in the hot weather.
“Crabs deteriorate quickly and begin to smell in a very short amount of time,” said a DFO spokesperson in an email.
“This incident violates the Fisheries Act and its regulations, which prohibits the waste of any fish that is suitable for human consumption.”
Photos of the crabs appear to show that they were neither female nor smaller than 16.5 centimetres — two restrictions that would have prevented their legal harvest.
The DFO said whoever dumped the crab would have needed a large-capacity flat deck or moving truck, as the animals would have been too heavy for even a long-box heavy duty pickup truck.
Whole Dungeness crabs wholesale for anywhere between US$8 to $US25 per kilogram online, usually with large minimum orders. A crab of just under one kilogram retails for nearly $42 in Vancouver.
It’s not the first crab dump to catch fisheries officials’ attention this year.
Anyone with information on illegal seafood dumping is asked to contact the 24-hour Observe Record Report line at 1-800-465-4336.
WATCH: Second Dungeness crab ‘dump’ found in Northern B.C.