Hefty fine for Old Perlican fisherman
An Old Perlican fisherman man has been handed a large fine following an investigation by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
On Oct. 2, William Carl Hopkins was fined $30,000 for providing false information in the DFO log book from 2008 to 2010. Of f icials say Hopkins falsly reported crab catches between fishing areas.
Although he did not lose his license, Hopkins was ordered by provincial court judge Lori Marshall to report vessel monitoring system (VMS) positional data in 15 minute intervals for a period of three years while fishing snow crab.
He was also ordered to forfeit the proceeds from 497 kilograms (1,096 pounds) of seized crab to the Crown. The crab is valued at some $1,479.
Hopkins was identified for giving false information as a part of Operation Gearshift, a realtime and retrospective review of fising activity in the snow crab and northern shrimp fisheries. The operation has resulted in the conviction of dozens of fishers, with penalties exceeding $1 million.
A previous conviction was taken into consideration by the court when sentencing Hopkins.
DFO reminds the public that illegal fishing is a threat to the sustainability of important fishing resources. Any one with information on suspicious fishing activity or the violation of fish habitiat is encouraged to contact the nearest DFO Canada office (772-4423) or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-8477).