Possession of live Asian carp brings $50K fine

A Markham, Ont., man was fined $50,000 for possession of a live, invasive fish.

A Markham, Ont., man was fined $50,000 for possession of a live, invasive fish.

Justice of the Peace Holly Debacker levied the fine in the Ontario Court of Justice in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday, and ordered Feng Yang to forfeit more than 1,800 kilograms of Asian carp.

He was also given a three-year probation order that prohibits him from possessing any invasive species. It was his second conviction, according to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Yang owns a fish importing company in Markham, and pleaded guilty to the charge.

It has been illegal to have live invasive fish in Ontario since 2005. The prohibited species include bighead, grass, black and silver carp because they pose a threat to the province's lake systems.

Debacker's court was told that a joint operation between the Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Canadian Border Services Agency resulted in the seizure of Yang's carp on Nov. 4, 2010, after agents searched his vehicle as it crossed the border at Windsor.