The Pacific hake are the most abundant groundfish off the Pacific coast of North America.

Vancouver Island fishing boat captain fined $10,000 for unknowingly violating license

Ian Jeffrey Garnier, 45, fined for fishing in a closed area, failing to properly record catch, and releasing fish contrary to regulations

A north Island fishing boat captain was fined $10,000 last week for Fisheries Act infractions that may have actually cost him money, and the judge accepts he had no idea he made.

Following court hearings before Judge Catherine Crockett in Campbell River and Courtenay Provincial Court, Ian Jeffrey Garnier, 45, was fined July 8 for fishing in a closed area, failing to properly record his catch, and releasing fish contrary to regulations — among other Fisheries Act charges.

He pled guilty to eight counts in connection with separate incidents which occurred Sept. 9, 2011, while fishing for hake in waters near Port Hardy, and on Nov. 13, 2012, while trawling for groundfish near Queen Charlotte Sound.

“Given the extensive monitoring by on-board observers or electronic means, it is difficult to conceive of why a person would deliberately violate any of the conditions that form the bases of these charges,” Crockett wrote in her decision. “It was only a matter of time before the violations were discovered.”

In the first instance, video cameras in place to ensure license compliance recorded members of Garnier’s crew tossing about 2,000 pounds of fish overboard without his knowledge — fish they could have kept. Neither he, nor the crew could provide any reason for the action, which the court described as throwing money away.

In the second instance, an on-board compliance observer determined much later that Garnier’s trawl had extended 1.3 kilometres inside a 27,000 square-kilometre closed area. Again, Garnier said he was unaware he had entered a forbidden zone.

In each case, the violations were not brought to Garnier’s attention until two years after the fact.

The judge accepted Garnier’s testimony about his lack of knowledge and acknowledged his quick guilty plea and his remorse.

“It is fair to say that if Captain Garnier gained financially from his transgressions, that gain was not significant,” she wrote. “On the other hand, Captain Garnier has prior convictions including one involving fishing in a closed area. He is required to exercise due diligence in following all of the terms of his commercial fishing licence, and the regulations. He did not do so.

“I am mindful of the effect this type of conduct has on the ability of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to ensure fisheries are managed in a sustainable manner. These offences require fines which will deter Captain Garnier, and others, from conducting themselves in a similar manner in the future. Fishing is a highly regulated industry: those who undertake it have a duty to make sure they follow the rules in order to protect and maintain the valuable resources contained in our oceans.”

The crown had been seeking fines totalling $26,522 while the defence had countered with $4,000.

Follow me on Twitter @JohnMcKinleyBP

Just Posted

Change of command at HMCS Quadra

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt.-Col.) Allan Dengis assumed command of HMCS Quadra in a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Greenwood Trunk sewer line construction continues

Work on Ryan Road portion of project Monday

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Police presence at Anna Place in Courtenay

Situation resolved peacefully

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Hawaii volcano boat tours continue after ‘lava bomb’ injuries

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers.”

Trump returns from summit with Putin to forceful criticism

“Shameful,” ”disgraceful,” ”weak,” were a few of the comments. Makes the U.S. “look like a pushover,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Obama to deliver Mandela address in likely rebuke to Trump

Former U.S. President Barack Obama Monday praised Kenya’s president and opposition leader for working together but said this East African country must do more to end corruption.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Missing B.C. Serval cat creates buzz online, pleas for help

Aquila, an African Serval, disappeared from a Fernie, B.C. backyard sometime on Friday, July 13.

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Island wide crime spree leads to multiple charges against Cowichan Valley resident

Social Media and citizens of the North Island played a big role in solving the case.

Most Read