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Illegal fishing mission in B.C. leads to hundreds of crabs being set free

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says charges may follow.
The DFO investigation was done over a five-day period.

A five-day mission to combat illegal fishing in B.C. waters resulted in 270 crab traps being seized. 

Over a five-day period, officers with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) investigated the waters of Boundary Bay near White Rock.

They found 27 strings of crab traps that are suspected to have been set illegally. Out of the 270 traps, 154 were sealed shut. 

A DFO spokesperson explains that officers from Langley, Steveston, Chilliwack and whale detachments worked with Canadian Coast Guard colleagues to do the enforcement. During the operation, the CCG Hovercraft Siyay was used along with three conservation and protection patrol vessels.

"This was a highly successful example of a joint DFO/CCG enforcement initiative,” says Leri Davis. 

A total of 778 Dungeness crabs and 119 red rock crabs were safely returned to the water from the traps.

"Fishery officers will now attempt to identify seized traps and gear and investigate to try to identify the perpetrators,” says Davis. “Charges may follow.” 

Anyone who witnesses suspicious or illegal activity is asked to contact the DFO violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336 or email [email protected].