From Transcontinental Media's The Telegram
Poaching investigations result in 50 charges against seven people
Inland fish enforcement officers put a dent in poaching activity recently by laying 50 charges against seven people, and seizing salmon, boats, nets and other equipment.
Near Quirpon, N.L. on the Northern Peninsula, officers conducted a surveillance operation of organized poaching.
The result was 26 charges against three individuals for the alleged offence of illegal netting of Atlantic salmon in coastal waters.
Another organized poaching ring in the community of Norris Point was busted and three individuals are facing a total of nine charges for their alleged involvement in the illegal netting of Atlantic salmon in coastal waters.
During the course of these operations, officers seized three boats, 18 salmon, numerous nets and other poaching-related equipment.
In addition, an undercover operation near Grand Falls-Windsor resulted in 15 charges against one individual for a range of alleged offences including trafficking-in Atlantic salmon, illegal netting and possession.
Its been a busy season for the Inland Fish Enforcement agency of the Department of Justice.
In total, officers have laid 235 fish-related charges against 89 individuals and have issued a number of warnings. Also, 126 charges for alleged violations under the Motorized Snow Vehicles and All-Terrain Vehicles Act, the Wild Life Act and the Criminal Code of Canada have been laid. A truck, eight boats, three all-terrain vehicles and many illegal nets have been seized.
The charges are part of the ongoing operations to attempt to eradicate destructive poaching activity in Newfoundland and Labrador.
As a result of recent investigations in western Newfoundland, two men received fines totalling $3,300. One of these individuals is prohibited from fishing inland waters for a year.
As well, a conviction last week for a recent apprehension of an individual near Foxtrap has resulted in a fine of $1,500 for jigging salmon.
The public can anonymously report suspected poaching to the Inland Fish Enforcement poaching hotline at 1-877-820-0999, by contacting Crime Stoppers or through the Department of Justice website: www.gov.nl.ca/just/inlandfish/violation.htm.
The Department of Justice has recently launched a new television ad campaign to raise awareness of this illegal activity. These ads can be viewed on the Department of Justice website: