B.C. fisherman who tossed 'bear-banger' at group of sea lions facing large fine
VICTORIA -- The skipper of a B.C. commercial fishing vessel is on the hook for a hefty fine after he was recorded tossing a “bear-banger” at a group of sea lions in 2019.
Allan Marsden, a North Vancouver-based fisherman, pleaded guilty to disturbing a marine mammal under the Fisheries Act and was subsequently ordered to pay $8,000 to the federal government.
Last year, Marsden posted a video of himself tossing a bear-banger into a large feeding frenzy of seals and sea lions off the coast of Hornby Island.
Shortly after the video was released, the skipper told CTV News Vancouver Island that the sea lion population had boomed so much in B.C. that the marine mammals were making it nearly impossible for him to catch enough herring to make a living.
He claimed that each year, sea lions cause roughly $150,000 in damage to fishing equipment aboard ships across Vancouver Island’s herring fishing fleet.
The video, which clearly shows Marsden toss a small explosive device into the horde of seals and sea lions, quickly garnered a storm of negative comments and even led to the skipper being threatened.
Marsden is now facing an $8,000 fine and is also banned from possessing explosives for the next three years.