The Department of Fisheries and Ocean Canada (DFO) checked 76 vessels and 187 anglers for fishing violations between July 9–10 as part of an enforcement blitz in B.C.’s Southern Gulf Islands.
The operation included five DFO vessels, one land-based platform and a dedicated aircraft, the department said in a news release. It was conducted from Powell River, Nanaimo, Duncan, Victoria and Annacis Island.
“This was a highly successful enforcement effort that demonstrates C&P’s (Conservation and Protection branch) ability to strategize and allocate enforcement resources to target areas of high priority in the region,” reads the release. “It also demonstrates the department’s commitment to protecting the sustainability of Canada’s marine resources.
Officers encountered violations including retention of Coho salmon; retention on undersized lingcod; fishing inside closed areas; transiting southern resident killer whale sanctuary zones; not having descending devices; unmarked prawn traps; using barbed hooks while salmon fishing and failing to produce a fishing license.
The DFO said officers also assisted with two emergencies during the enforcement blitz — a mayday call for a vessel taking on water and assisting Air Ambulance with an evacuation of an injured person on a beach.
The department said it will continue operations such as this throughout the summer. The operations was in conjunction with Operation Kelp Stout — a multi-agency U.S. and Canada marine-based blitz collaboration between the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. enforcement counterparts.