A cache of 89 crabs was discovered during a 2018 compliance inspection at South Surrey’s Elgin Park Marina. (DFO photo)

A cache of 89 crabs was discovered during a 2018 compliance inspection at South Surrey’s Elgin Park Marina. (DFO photo)

$7,500 fine for illegal crab harvest discovered in South Surrey

Laird Goddyn found guilty in court following 2018 investigation that started with DFO Langley

A “recreational crab harvester” has been fined $7,500 in connection with a large number of crabs found three years ago during an inspection at Elgin Park Marina in South Surrey.

According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Laird Goddyn was found guilty last month in Surrey Provincial Court of violating the Fisheries Act. Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife contacted the Langley office of DFO with concerns.

In addition to imposing the fine, Justice Satinder Sidhu banned Goddyn from holding tidal and non-tidal fishing licences for five years, the release states.

READ MORE: 3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

And Goddyn’s vessel, which had been seized as evidence, was ordered returned to Goddyn subject to a $4,638.48 storage fee.

The investigation involved three enforcement agencies.

Goddyn, it continues, was identified as a “harvester of interest” to DFO’s Conservation and Protection Branch in Langley following information shared by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. U.S. officers were investigating an individual for illegal crabbing activities on April 24, 2018, that potentially involved sales in Canada.

On June 30, 2018, the RCMP contacted Langley fisheries officers to alert them to the discovery of the over-limit crab cache at the Elgin marina.

According to DFO, Goddyn was in possession of 89 crabs; the legal daily recreational possession limit is four. The crabs were measured and released alive back into the water, and Goddyn’s vessel and cellphones were seized as evidence.

The court ordered that the $7,500 fine be used for the care and management of the fishery.

Quick facts

• As part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s work to end illegal activity, the Department asks the public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336, or email the details to DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

• In both Canada and Washington State, people may fish for crab either recreationally or commercially. Both, require licences and have licence conditions including: open and closed fishing times, size limits, possession limits, and restrictions on the retention of female crabs. Crab that have been caught recreationally are for personal use and cannot be bought, bartered or sold or offered for sale or barter in neither Canada nor Washington State.

• Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s fishery officers routinely work closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers with respect to various fisheries, which include the recreational and commercial crab fishery. They also routinely work in collaboration with the RCMP, who also have Fishery Officer designation, and are empowered to conduct fisheries inspections.

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