Tignish fishermen receive big fines
Two Tignish fishermen received fines totalling $11,000 after being found guilty in Summerside Provincial Court on charges laid last year.
As a result of an investigation during the snow crab fishing season in June, 2008 by fishery officers from the Alberton DFO detachment and Gulf regional headquarters it was found that the vessel Going Back II, captained by Kenneth Gaudet of Grand Barachois, NB, and Tignish, PEI, with snow crab license holder Nathan Brennan also of Tignish, PEI, had been fishing crab pots with invalid tags. The vessel exceeded its snow crab quota by 721 lbs.
As a condition of license, snow crab fishing vessels must have a functioning VMS (Vessel Monitoring system) installed onboard the vessel. This system plots the points of the vessels activities at all times during fishing activity. During this investigation, the VMS, along with information seized from the vessel were used to determine the number of crab traps being fished.
On June 14, 2008, the vessel arrived at Tignish Run. Following an investigation, the captain and crew member were arrested and the vessel put under seizure. Nathan Ricky Brennan and Kenneth Joseph Gaudet were charged with three counts under the Fisheries Regulations.
Thursday, June 4, 2009, at Summerside Courthouse, Nathan Ricky Brennan pled guilty to having onboard a vessel a crab trap without a valid tag securely attached to the frame of the trap. He received a $6,000 fine.
Kenneth Joseph Gaudet pled guilty to exceeding his snow crab quota by 721 lbs. He received a $2,500 fine.
Mr Brennan also faced another charge during his June court date, this one involving the lobster fishery.
On August 22, 2008 fishery officers from the Alberton Detachment conducted a patrol of the boundary of the lobster fishing areas (LFA) 24 (closed zone) and 25 (open zone). At that time lobster gear belonging to LFA 25 license holder Nathan Ricky Brennan of Tignish was found to be the closed zone, LFA 24. Six lobster traps were seized by fishery officers and he was charged with unlawfully fishing for lobster in Lobster Fishing Area 24 during a closed time, contrary to section 57(1)(a) of the Atlantic Fishery Regulations.
Mr Brennan pled guilty to the charge during his June 4 court appearance and received a $2,500 fine.