Obstructing DFO fishery officers from carrying out their duties is illegal

From: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Richmond, B.C. – On March 4, 2021, a serious case of obstruction of DFO fishery officers in the performance of their duties concluded in Richmond Provincial Court. The Honourable Judge Bonnie Craig found Tenshi Seafood Limited, and its co-owner, Dishi Liu, guilty of violations of Canada’s Fisheries Act.

The Court ordered the fish processing company to pay a fine of $75,000, plus provide the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada with a list of its customers from the past 2 years. The company was also ordered to publish a letter, addressed to all of its customers, setting out the facts related to the commission of the offences they were found guilty of. Justice Craig also ordered Ms. Liu to pay a fine of $25,000. Thuong Nguyen, master of the commercial fishing vessel Dream Chaser, was found guilty in Richmond Provincial Court on January 17, 2020, for also obstructing a fishery officer, and was fined $10,000.

The charges stem from a routine inspection on September 8, 2018, by a DFO fishery officer from the Steveston Detachment. Tenshi Seafood Limited is a well-established million dollar crab processing, distribution and exporting plant. On arrival at the facility, the officer observed a man running from the building and speeding away with what looked like a crab crate in the back of his vehicle. Once inside the plant, the owner, and some staff, actively obstructed the fishery officer from conducting an inspection, would not answer questions, failed to provide the necessary paperwork, weights or volume figures from the previous sale, and attempted to destroy evidence. Several undersized crabs were found discarded in the processing plant.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to prosecute offenders under the Fisheries Act. It ensures and promotes compliance with the Act and other laws and regulations through a combination of land, air, and sea patrols, as well as education and awareness activities.

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