B.C. Supreme Court has ordered the first lifetime fishing ban for a Pacific Ocean fisherman in more than a decade.
According to a Fisheries and Oceans Canada press release, the sentence was handed down to Scott Stanley Matthew Steer last month in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. Steer was handed a lifetime ban against fishing and against being aboard a fishing vessel.
The sentencing resulted from an incident March 1 in Vancouver Harbour when Steer and two crew members were found illegally fishing for crab. His vessel was boarded after a high-speed pursuit.
The courts, the release noted, had previously handed Steer extended fishing bans and he is currently awaiting trial in Nanaimo for alleged Fisheries Act violations.
Justice Peter H. Edelmann also ordered Steer spend six months in jail minus time served, three years’ probation including 12 months under curfew, and 75 hours of community work. The judge also banned Steer from being involved in the purchase or sale of fish for five years. Steer is also banned from buying or selling a fishing vessel and the judge also ordered the forfeit of the aluminum vessel, valued at about $50,000, that was used in the illegal activity.
Sammy Williams, one of the two crew members arrested with Steer in Vancouver, was also convicted of Fisheries Act violations Nov. 30 and will be sentenced in the new year. The other crew member, Christopher Schill, pleaded guilty in a separate trial and will be sentenced in early 2022.
Anyone with information about suspected violations of Canada’s Fisheries Act and regulations can call the Fisheries and Oceans Canada toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.