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  1. #1

    $35,000.00 For Illegal Fishing

    Jan. 23, 2017

    A luxury fishing lodge on Haida Gwaii has been fined $35,000 for illegally catching dozens of halibut and over 100 chinook, coho and pink salmon.

    Officers with Fisheries and Oceans Canada seized the illegal catches from Queen Charlotte Lodge during a surprise inspection last year.

    DFO fishery officer Geoff Thorburn said the fish were well over the legal limits allowed on Haida Gwaii.

    "If everybody had no limit whatsoever, we'd probably have some significant issues when it comes to salmon and halibut," he said.

    "Staying within the limits is really important for fish management and for the conservation and protection of fish."

    A total of 119 coho salmon along with 28 filets of halibut, 38 halibut, 28 chinook salmon and six pink salmon were seized by DFO officials. (Seymour Salmonid Society)

    The lodge was found guilty of six violations of the Fisheries Act and fined $500 for each.

    The judge ordered the lodge to pay an additional $32,000 to finance marine conservation, rehabilitation, education and research efforts on Haida Gwaii.

    "If anything positive comes out of this, it's that money will go to conservation of fish and fish habitat here on Haida Gwaii," Thorburn said.

    In December 2015, Naden Lodge in Massett was ordered to pay $15,000 for fishing violations, $13,000 of which was for similar conservation efforts.
    "Gone fishin' by a shady wady pool...." - Louis Armstrong & Bing Crosby

  2. #2
    GBO Member EliAdair's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Kingston/Stratford, Ontario
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    That's a big name lodge, can't be good for buisness haha... wonder what they were thinking there....
    Elijah Adair

  3. #3
    GBO Member Bill Marzana's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Barrie, Ontario.
    Here's some more info.

    Queen Charlotte Lodge will pay $35,000 after pleading guilty to six violations of the federal FisheriesAct.
    The luxury fishing resort on Naden Harbour is the second Haida Gwaii fishing lodge to pay majorfines in just over a year.
    Back in December 2015, Naden Lodge was fined $15,000 for exceeding possession limits and sellingfish not covered by a commercial licence.
    “We’re setting an example, and I hope that all lodges are taking note,” said Geoff Thorburn, a localfishery officer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
    On Dec. 14, 2016, Queen Charlotte Lodge pled guilty to six violations.
    But its $35,000 penalty is what the court agreed would be appropriate for all 37 charges thecompany was facing.
    The charges date back over two years, to Aug. 8, 2014, when fishery officers did a surprise inspectionof the lodge.
    From the QCL freezers, officers seized about 750 lbs. of mishandled or mislabeled fish: 38 halibut, 28chinook, 119 coho, six pink salmon, and a bag with 28 halibut filets.
    The fish will now be donated to elders’ and school programs on Haida Gwaii.
    The most serious violation the lodge pled guilty to was cutting the halibut in such a way that itcouldn’t be measured by inspectors — by law, they must be able to measure a halibut in possessionto see if it is over or under the legal size.
    Queen Charlotte Lodge also failed to label individual packages of fish and larger boxes with thewords, ‘Sport-caught fish: Not for Sale,’ which is also required by law.
    Individual packages were missing labels to show the species of fish inside, and larger containers didnot have either the name of the fisher who caught them, nor the date the fish was caught.
    As with Naden Lodge, which was ordered to pay $12,000 of its $15,000 fine toward a fund for localnon-profit fish habitat conservation groups, $32,000 of the Queen Charlotte Lodge penalty is setaside for the same purpose.
    In another case, Queen Charlotte Lodge is charged with contravening commercial fishing licenceconditions, selling illegally caught fish, and producing false records in August 2015. None of thosecharges has been proven in court.
    Between the Naden Lodge and Queen Charlotte Lodge fines over the last 13 months, at least $44,000is now available to local conservation groups for fisheries and habitat rehabilitation, fisherieseducation programs or marine mammal research.
    Groups can apply for the funds by phoning the supervisor in the Queen Charlotte DFO office at 250-559-4413.
    “We’re here to help the community as best we can,” said Thorburn, noting that the natural resourcesof Haida Gwaii are the reason many people live here.
    “Especially for the Haida people, who have been here since time immemorial, it’s really importantthat it stays that way.”
    (insert something smart to say here)

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