Presentation - Updated Ticketing Regime for Fisheries Act Offences
- The current reality:
- How do we currently handle Fisheries Act violations?
- Looking forward:
- Ticketing as an enforcement option
- Examples of tickets
Setting the stage
- Fishers must comply with the Fisheries Act and related regulations
- Fishery regulations set out fishing quotas, closed times, gear and fishing licence restrictions and other provisions necessary for the management and conservation of fishery resources.
- Fishery officers across the country are responsible for ensuring compliance so that our fisheries remain sustainable.
- BUT currently, our enforcement options are not the same across the country.
We want to be consistent in our approach, using the tools that make the most sense, and we want your input.
The current reality
How do we currently handle Fisheries Act violations?
- Education/outreach beforehand
- In some provinces, we can issue tickets:
- British Columbia: Summary Offence Tickets issued under the Fisheries Act ticketing regimes, using the fine schedule under the British Columbia Sports Fishing Regulations (BCSFR).
- Ontario and Maritime Provinces: tickets are issued under the Contraventions Act ticketing regime.
- The rest of the time, we prosecute using the more formal process which requires attendance in court (e.g. summary convictions resulting in court time for the accused and the fishery officer).
We want to expand our enforcement tools to include ticketing:
- Tickets would be issued for minor offences (similar to a traffic violation) where appropriate.
- These offences would not result in a criminal record, but would be recorded as an offence under the Fisheries Act.
- Offenders would have a choice to either pay the ticket or attend court for trial if he or she wished to contest the matter:
- payment of a fine would save the time and expenses associated with a court appearance on a summary conviction.
- The formal court process (e.g. summary conviction or indictment) would continue to be used for more serious offences.
Expand and update the use of ticketing under the Contravention Regulations to cover minor offences, for both commercial and recreational fishing activities for the following regulations:
- Fishery (General) Regulations (FGR)
- Atlantic Fishery Regulations (AFR)
- Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations (NLFR)
- Pacific Fishery Regulations (PFR)
- British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations (BCSFR)
Note that fishery officers would still have the option to lay charges for serious offences.
Benefits for the fishermen
- Consistency of application across regions.
- Avoids industry from having to appear in court for minor offences.
- Enables Courts to be available for more serious offences.
- Frees up fishery officers to focus on higher priority files.
- Fines are between $100-$500 and are similar to existing provincial fines
- Commercial fishery fines are generally higher than those for the recreational fishery
- General guideline:
- Administrative and/or low impact infractions = lower fine $100-200
- Infractions related to transportation issues = ~$350
- Infractions related to fraud/mischief or a conservation threat = ~$500
Examples of tickets
- Failing to carry and produce a licence or registration: $100
- Operating improperly marked fishing gear: $150
- Failing to surrender a document when requested: $200
- Possessing fish whose number cannot be readily determined: $200
- Recreational fishery for clams during close time: $250
- Operating a vessel without properly painted or securely affixed registration number: $300
- Fishing in closed waters: $500
- Fishing during close time: $500
- Fishing with prohibited gear: $500
- Recreational fishing for groundfish during close time: $500
We want to hear from you
- Find more information about the ticketing project
- Consultations will take place until January 31, 2018.
- Send us your comments!
- Email: DFOTickets.ContraventionsMPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
DFO Ticketing Consultation
13th Floor, 200 Kent Street
- Do the proposed fines and violations make sense to you? Do they seem fair and consistent?
- What effect will this ticketing plan have on you and your industry? What are the pros and cons?
- Do you think ticketing will be accepted in your region/industry? Why or why not?
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