Yellowknife fisherman faces fine, community service
Brian Abbott blames his inexperience for breaking 4 fisheries act regulations
A commercial fisherman in Yellowknife faces a hefty fine after he pleaded guilty to four charges under the federal fisheries act.
The charges stem from when officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the RCMP and wildlife officers raided Brian Abbott’s fish plant and vessel last summer. They seized 600 kilograms of fish in the raid.
Abbott pleaded guilty to failing to properly fill in log books, fishing in restricted waters and operating an unregistered commercial fishing vessel.
Before the raid, officers had warned Abbott about his registration, but Abbott never complied.
The Crown prosecutor said Abbott’s behaviour shows a disregard for the regulations.
Abbott’s lawyer said the business was a steep learning curve for the new fisherman, who has only been in business for two years. Abbott’s lawyer insisted it was not a ‘renegade operation’.
Abbott told Judge Bernadette Schmaltz that he was overloaded with work, saying in court, "we didn’t know what the heck we were doing".
Schmaltz noted that he wasn’t remorseful but was making excuses.
Both Crown and defense are seeking a $3,000 fine, 40 hours of community service and a public apology to be published in the local newspaper.
Abbott is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 6.