A North Coast salmon harvester has been handed an 18-month fishing prohibition and penalties amounting to more than $88,000 after failing to comply with several of his licence conditions, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said in a Nov. 30 media release.
Garry Dean Stoner was sentenced in Terrace Provincial Court on July 2, 2021 after pleading guilty to 12 counts of Fisheries Act violations, such as overfishing his Chinook salmon quota, retaining prohibited fish, and failing to submit a single Coho or Chinook salmon head between three separate required landings.
“Mr. Stoner’s unwillingness to comply with licence conditions is an affront to all fishers attempting to comply with complicated licence conditions,” said Justice Calvin Struyk in pronouncing sentencing.
“In the court’s view, Mr. Stoner’s flagrant non-compliance with licence conditions justifies a salmon fishing prohibition.”
The contraventions of the Fisheries Act took place in waters north of Haida Gwaii between June and September 2017, and July and August 2018.
Stoner landed on the radar of enforcement bodies when a routine fisheries inspection triggered a DFO investigation in 2017. Fisheries officers boarded Stoner’s vessel, the Prestige II, while it was engaged in the Area F commercial salmon troll fishery.
That investigation found Stoner in contravention of a multitude of licence requirements.
Then, in 2018, the Prince Rupert Conservation and Protection Detachment carried out a further investigation after reports of continued non-compliance with licence conditions.
In total, Stoner is to pay $1,200 in court fines and $42,800 in penalties which will be contributed to fisheries management and conservation. Justice Struyk also tagged on an additional $44,644 penalty to recover revenue Stoner obtained though sales of illegally caught Chinook salmon.
Stoner was also banned from commercial salmon fishing for 18 months.