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Crime

Boat, 26 chinook salmon seized amid allegations of overfishing off B.C. coast

Several Chinook salmon and cod seized by Nootka Sound RCMP are displayed after three men were charged with overfishing offences under the Fisheries Act near Vancouver Island on Sept. 13, 2019.
Several Chinook salmon and cod seized by Nootka Sound RCMP are displayed after three men were charged with overfishing offences under the Fisheries Act near Vancouver Island on Sept. 13, 2019. Nootka Sound RCMP

Police off the coast of Vancouver Island have seized a nine-metre fishing boat and more than two dozen chinook salmon over allegations of “significant overfishing.”

Nootka Sound RCMP said Friday they received a report two days earlier of possible violations under the Fisheries Act by those aboard the vessel on the west side of the main island.

Police quickly located the suspect vessel and launched an inspection, which uncovered evidence of “multiple violations” that prompted RCMP to partner with conservation and protection officers with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

READ MORE: Hundreds of Dungeness crabs illegally dumped in Maple Ridge, DFO says

A news release says police and DFO officers found 26 chinook salmon, 10 bags of salmon roe weighing roughly 24 kilograms, 18 rock fish filets and eight ling cod filets.

All the fish were seized along with the boat, fishing gear and equipment.

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Chinook populations are on the decline and the fisheries department has limited recreational fishing to an allowable catch of two chinook per day in the area.

WATCH: (Jan. 19, 2016) Overfishing is underreported: UBC study

Overfishing is underreported: UBC study
Overfishing is underreported: UBC study

“These types of blatant violations and disrespect for conservation efforts affect all persons around Nootka Sound and Vancouver Island,” Nootka Sound RCMP Sgt. Josh Wiese said in a statement.

“We want to send a strong message that these behaviors get recognized and actions have consequences.”

READ MORE: Federal government announces new approach to managing aquaculture industry Canada

Police say three people from outside B.C. are expected to appear in a Gold River court in November to face charges under the Fisheries Act.

DFO officers from Vancouver Island and North Vancouver are continuing with the investigation with assistance from Nootka Sound RCMP.

— With files from the Canadian Press