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Fisher jailed for selling illegal catch

A commercial fishing boat master will serve jail time after being found guilty of Fisheries Act violations for the third time in six years.

Scott Stanley Matthew Steer was sentenced last November to a six-month prison sentence for seven counts related to illegal fishing in incidents between July 2010 and January 2011, when he was master of the ship Pacific Titan.

Among the violations were selling tuna, halibut and sablefish caught without a licence.

The evidence presented at the trial included testimony from 11 civilian witnesses, including business owners from Worldwide Seafoods and French Creek Seafoods.

“I have been provided with victim impact statements from representatives from the fishing industry, deploring Mr. Steer’s conduct and requesting that I impose a serious penalty on him,” said Justice Ted Gouge, who found Steer guilty in June in Nanaimo Provincial Court.

“For the reasons put forward in those statements, the industry, in its own interest, should act to encourage whistle-blowers,” he said.

Steer was also fined $15,000 and is banned from fishing in Canadian and American waters for 10 years.

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