‘Ghost fishing’: Crackdown nets 337 illegal traps in B.C.’s Boundary Bay

Click to play video: 'More than 300 ‘ghost’ crab traps pulled from Boundary Bay'
More than 300 ‘ghost’ crab traps pulled from Boundary Bay
More than 300 illegal crab traps have been cleared from Boundary Bay. If not removed, those so-called 'ghost' traps could go on killing crabs and fish for years. Nadia Stewart reports – Feb 4, 2021

Fisheries officers and the Canadian Coast Guard say they seized 337 crab traps over a five-day crackdown on illegal fishing in B.C.’s Boundary Bay.

The joint operation was the first time a coast guard hovercraft from the Sea Island base was used for such an enforcement action, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Read more: Canada joins global agreement to thwart illegal fishing industry

In a media release, the agency said a “large number” of fish and crab were returned to the water, and that an investigation was ongoing that could lead to charges.

Click to play video: 'DFO seizes hundreds of illegal crab traps in Boundary Bay'
DFO seizes hundreds of illegal crab traps in Boundary Bay

It said illegal or “ghost fishing” operations include gear that lacks proper floats, markings or tags; harvests more than its allotted catch; that is set in prohibited waters; or which lacks the proper escape mechanisms.

Story continues below advertisement

The seizure is more than double the 136 traps pulled from Boundary Bay in 2020.

Read more: Hundreds of Dungeness crabs illegally dumped in Maple Ridge, DFO says

Fisheries and Oceans Canada said officers also removed “ghost traps” — traps which had been illegally abandoned — from the bay.

Ghost gear is viewed as a particularly harmful form of marine pollution, as it can carry on catching and killing fish and other species for long periods of time.

Anyone who wants to report suspicious or illegal fishing activity is urged to contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada at 1-800-465-4336.

Sponsored content