La Scie fisherman nets $15K fine for illegally poaching halibut

A stakeout of the wharf in St. Lawrence two summers ago lead has led to a hefty fine for one halibut fisherman, who has been convicted for violating the federal fisheries act.
The fish seized from Keith Bath was inspected and found to be unfit for human consumption. (DFO)

A stakeout of the wharf in St. Lawrence two summers ago has netted a hefty fine for one halibut fisherman convicted of violating the federal Fisheries Act. 

Keith Bath was found guilty in Grand Bank provincial court three weeks ago of possessing Atlantic halibut during closed time, failing to accurately complete a fishing log and failing to have all catch weighed and verified by a dockside observer. 

Three boxes of halibut was seized following an investigation by fishery officers in 2013. (DFO)

The Department of Fisheries and Ocean sent a news release Tuesday to announce the convictions.

Bath, who is from La Scie, was charged with violating the federal Fisheries Act in August 2013 after fisheries officers watched as he arrived in port in St. Lawrence without using the hail-in system.

4,000 lbs of fish seized

During the night-time stake out, officers noticed there was no dockside observer at the wharf — a legislated requirement, and saw several individuals offloading fish into a pickup truck.

Pan of Atlantic halibut found on board a vessel owned by Keith Bath. (DFO)

Bath was in possession of over 4,000 pounds of whole and processed halibut, valued at $21,928.

Fisheries officers seized the fish after it was sold to a local buyer.

"An inspection of this fish by provincial fisheries inspectors later determined that it was not fit for human consumption due to decomposition," a DFO news release stated. 

Bath was ordered to pay a $15,500 fine, in addition to paying $500 restitution to DFO for costs incurred while destroying the soiled halibut. 

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