A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo

B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

A Comox Valley-based shellfish operation has been hit with fines totaling $10,000 for licence violations.

The province court decision against Keith Chui, a commercial clamfish harvester, actually took place in Courtenay on Feb. 17 but was only released June 11. In the decision, Judge Brian Hutcheson found Chui guilty of eight counts of violating the federal Fisheries Act.

The issues surrounding the charges against Chui were incomplete information on mandatory shellfish container tags, inaccurate information of product harvested from his aquaculture site spanning several years and failure to submit two Annual Aquaculture Statistical reports. The DFO news release notes that 38 traceability tags were missing required information about who harvested, the location and when this happened. The fine for each count was $1,500 for a total of $4,500.

His activity records also did not accurately represent what was harvested from his site between 2014 and 2016. Again, the fine for each violation was $1,500, adding up to $4,500.

Finally, for failing to submit his Annual Aquaculture Statistical Report for 2015 and 2016, he was fined $500 for each of two counts, or $1,000, bringing the total of the infractions to $10,000. DFO uses the reports for the traceability of fish or for resource management purposes, while the federal and provincial agencies use them to tally gross domestic product.

DFO confirmed Chui’s aquaculture licence is based on Denman Island, but that he lives in Courtenay. Three other individuals were also charged. These charges were stayed, while Chui pleaded guilty to all counts.

“All four individuals were named on the aquaculture licence as ‘Issued to.’ When charges are laid for a violation against a licence condition, Crown counsel usually charges everyone, including a company if applicable, that the licence is issued to,” fishery officer Ari Turunen told the Record via email. “The investigation showed that Mr. Keith Chui was the main individual who was the most responsible for harvesting the clams and oyster from the aquaculture lease.”

READ MORE: DFO investigates alleged illegal dump of herring in Deep Bay

As to why the decision was released now, DFO said this was likely due to the time required in getting some court documents and processing them through the department.

DFO is encouraging the public to provide information on similar activities or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free line at 1-800-465-4336, or email details to DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fishing

Just Posted

2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Angie Mindus photos - Williams Lake Tribune)
PHOTOS: Graduates line Western Avenue for 2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade

Community members waited in line in their vehicles to congratulate grads

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Placing hope for the future in our children and their children

I am trying to be sure to include that focus as part of an evolving work/life balance

Graduate Belle Riding is congratulated by Lake City Secondary School learning support teacher Gail Gardner as she makes her way across the stage to receive her diploma. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
2021 Lake City Secondary School grads take centre stage at Williams Lake campus ceremonies

Ceremonies took place over two days, with COVID-19 restrictions in place for second year in a row

BGC Williams Lake Sprockids participants get ready to hit the trails on Fox Mountain May 27 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sprockids mountain biking program at BGC Williams Lake provides positive, outdoor outlet for youth

Sprockids aims to give youth the opportunity to saddle up on mountain bikes and hit the trails

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read