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Fishery officers seize 270 illegal crab traps

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:26 PST, Thu February 2, 2023

Last Updated: 11:46 PST, Thu February 9, 2023

Fishery officers with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, including some from the Steveston detachment, worked with Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) officers from the Sea Island Base last week to conduct an enforcement operation in Boundary Bay.

Fishery officers from the Langley, Chilliwack, and whale detachments also worked on the operation, which took place from Jan. 23 to 27. The operation used the CCG Hovercraft Siyay as a platform, coordinating with up to three conservation and protection patrol vessels to combat suspected illegal fishing.

During the joint operation, a total of 270 crab traps suspected to have been set illegally in this area were seized. A large number of crab and fish were returned to the water from all traps located and seized, including 788 Dungeness crab and 119 red rock crab. Fishery officers will now attempt to identify seized traps and gear and investigate to try to identify the perpetrators. Of the traps seized, 154 were sealed shut. Charges may follow.

Fishery officers and the CCG shared operational knowledge to ensure the success of the sweep and gained a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. This is the second time that a CCG hovercraft from the Sea Island Base was used for this kind of joint operation.

To counter suspected illegal fishing, fishery officers conduct dragging operations several times a year to retrieve lost, abandoned, or illegally set gear that is out of compliance. These can continue to trap animals and can also become buried in the mud over time, making them more difficult to retrieve.

Gear that is not in compliance with the regulations under Canada’s Fisheries Act can include: lack of proper floats identifying the location of gear; lack of proper markings or tags on floats and crab traps; fishing more than the allotted amount of gear; fishing traps without escape mechanisms or rot cord to enable escape mechanisms should the gear ever become lost; and fishing in closed or prohibited areas (i.e. United States waters). Illegal traps are disposed of.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans’s conservation and protection directorate continues to play an important role in the management of Canada’s marine resources. Regular integrated patrols by fishery officers on land, sea, and air are ongoing. For more about the work fishery officers do, visit

As part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s ongoing work to promote compliance and counter illegal fishing activity, the department asks the public for information on any suspicious or potentially illegal activities, or any suspected contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336 or via email at For more information about reporting violations, visit

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