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Fishing boat owners fined for illegal tuna catch off Vancouver Island

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the vessel Ocean Provider was boarded by officers approximately 42 nautical miles off Barkley Sound, near Bamfield. (DFO) Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the vessel Ocean Provider was boarded by officers approximately 42 nautical miles off Barkley Sound, near Bamfield. (DFO)
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The owners of a commercial fishing boat have been fined $6,000 after the vessel was caught with more than 30,000 pounds of illegally caught tuna off Vancouver Island last summer.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the vessel Ocean Provider was boarded by officers approximately 42 nautical miles off Barkley Sound, near Bamfield.

The fisheries officers were conducting a routine inspection when they discovered 2,250 albacore tuna – totalling approximately 14,495 kilograms – on board.

The vessel was escorted back to port by fisheries officers on the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Tanu.

The tuna, which the agency valued at $127,824, had been harvested despite the crew not being licensed to fish for tuna, the DFO said in a statement Wednesday.

The catch was seized and the vessel's owners pleaded guilty in court to fishing for albacore tuna without a licence between July 22 and Aug. 15, 2022.

A Port Alberni provincial court judge fined the owners on June 28 and upheld the seizure and forfeiture of the tuna.

The DFO asks anyone with information about illegal fishing in B.C. to call the agency's Pacific region reporting line 1-800-465-4336, or email details to DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

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