A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo

Comox Valley shellfish operator fined $10,000 for violations

Fisheries Act charges against three others in same case were stayed

A Comox Valley-based shellfish operation has been hit with fines totaling $10,000 for licence violations.

The province court decision against Keith Chui, a commercial clamfish harvester, actually took place in Courtenay on Feb. 17 but was only released June 11. In the decision, Judge Brian Hutcheson found Chui guilty of eight counts of violating the federal Fisheries Act.

The issues surrounding the charges against Chui were incomplete information on mandatory shellfish container tags, inaccurate information of product harvested from his aquaculture site spanning several years and failure to submit two Annual Aquaculture Statistical reports. The DFO news release notes that 38 traceability tags were missing required information about who harvested, the location and when this happened. The fine for each count was $1,500 for a total of $4,500.

His activity records also did not accurately represent what was harvested from his site between 2014 and 2016. Again, the fine for each violation was $1,500, adding up to $4,500.

Finally, for failing to submit his Annual Aquaculture Statistical Report for 2015 and 2016, he was fined $500 for each of two counts, or $1,000, bringing the total of the infractions to $10,000. DFO uses the reports for the traceability of fish or for resource management purposes, while the federal and provincial agencies use them to tally gross domestic product.

DFO confirmed Chui’s aquaculture licence is based on Denman Island, but that he lives in Courtenay. Three other individuals were also charged. These charges were stayed, while Chui pleaded guilty to all counts.

“All four individuals were named on the aquaculture licence as ‘Issued to.’ When charges are laid for a violation against a licence condition, Crown counsel usually charges everyone, including a company if applicable, that the licence is issued to,” fishery officer Ari Turunen told the Record via email. “The investigation showed that Mr. Keith Chui was the main individual who was the most responsible for harvesting the clams and oyster from the aquaculture lease.”

READ MORE: DFO investigates alleged illegal dump of herring in Deep Bay

As to why the decision was released now, DFO said this was likely due to the time required in getting some court documents and processing them through the department.

DFO is encouraging the public to provide information on similar activities or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free line at 1-800-465-4336, or email details to DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fishing

Just Posted

The plan for a three-storey, multi-family building on Second Street hit a setback on a recent provincial grant application. Record file photo
Province turns down grant for Cumberland project

Groups spearheading project may look to federal grant, say village staff

A young bear found deceased at the side of the road in the Comox Valley has conservation officers looking for answers around its death. Black Press file photo
Conservation seeking information for deceased Comox Valley bear

A young bear was found deceased at the side of the road near Kitty Coleman Park

Tools of the trade at the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Photo by Terry Farrell
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

A look at the first stage of the treatment process - where binding of solids and particles in the raw water happens before the water moves to filtration. Photo, CVRD
Water to flow soon from new Comox Valley treatment plant

“We are at our last major hurdle before achieving this critical goal.”

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox looking at the future of transportation in the town

Council adopted the 2020 Transportation Master Plan Update

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read