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Prawn fisher slapped with $16K fine for Steveston violation

The conviction came almost four years after the offence.

A man was recently fined $16,000 and ordered to forfeit more than 700 prawns and shrimp for fishing violations from four years ago.

Gordon Johnson was convicted in Richmond Provincial Court on Dec. 22, 2023 for fishing for shrimp with more than four shrimp traps on Jan. 22, 2020.

According to court documents, a fishery officer spotted prawn traps stacked up on the Kryptonite, a commercial fishing vessel that entered Steveston Harbour, and conducted an inspection.

Johnson, one of three occupants on the vessel, had been the one driving the vessel.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) subsequently seized their catch, traps and gear, including two buckets containing 732 prawns and shrimp. Among the seized catch were 32 egg-bearing spot prawns and 16 egg-bearing coon-strip shrimps.

Five buoys that were not labelled as required and 21 prawn traps were also seized.

At the time of the inspection, the prawn and shrimp fishery was closed for commercial fishing and open for recreational fishing, and licensed fishers were limited to a quota of 200 prawns and shrimp per day.

Per B.C. recreational shellfish harvesting rules, fishers must release all egg-bearing females back to the water where they caught them.

Recreational fishers were also limited to four traps per licensed fisher at the time.

In addition to a fine, Johnson also received a consent forfeiture order to give up the catch and gear seized by the DFO.

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