British Columbia

Illegal crab fishermen fined $3,300 for North Vancouver haul

Fresh crab can be expensive, but two Vancouver men have paid a very high price for the delicacy, and they never even got to taste their catch.

2 Vancouver men found guilty of several federal Fisheries Act violations for illegal traps

To catch crabs legally, you need to follow the rules on the type and number of crabs to keep and have a valid tidal waters sport fishing licence. (Jerry Kirkhart/Flickr)

Fresh crab can be expensive, but two Vancouver men have paid a very high price for the delicacy, and they never even got to taste their catch.

North Vancouver RCMP say the men were fishing for crab off the pier of Cates Park in North Vancouver in early January when their catch was seized and they were charged with several violations.

The pair have now been fined $3,300 for offences including illegal possession of crabs, having undersized Dungeness crabs, possessing female crabs and using more than two crab traps.

RCMP Corporal Richard De Jong says Fisheries Act regulations are in place to protect crab stocks and fishermen are advised to know the rules before lowering their traps.

He would not release the names of the men fined.

It's illegal to harvest female Dungeness or Red Rock crabs, and they must be returned to the water immediately, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

It's not hard to tell the difference between the sexes, as males and females have differently shaped abdomens.

Some cooks compare them to American landmarks: the abdomen of a male Dungeness is long and narrow, like the Washington Monument, whereas the female's is domed, like the U.S. Capitol building.

It's illegal to keep female Dungeness or Red Rock crabs, but it's not hard to tell the two sexes apart. On the underside, females have a wide abdomen and males have a long and narrow abdomen. (RCMP)

With files from Lisa Johnson

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