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