Justice and Public Safety
October 21, 2016
Investigations Result in Significant Convictions for Illegal Poaching and Netting
The following convictions were recently delivered in provincial court in Gander and Corner Brook as the result of investigations conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division.
On October 13 in provincial court in Gander, Darren Thistle of Glenwood was sentenced to 35 days imprisonment under the Wildlife Act and the Fisheries Act, as well as an additional 30 days for breach of probation under the Criminal Code.
The conviction relates to two separate salmon poaching operations in 2014 and 2015 at which time Mr. Thistle was arrested by fish and wildlife enforcement officers following complaints from the public of poaching near Salmon Pond Brook and Southwest Gander River.
Mr. Thistle plead guilty to possession of a net near inland waters without a licence, possession of Atlantic salmon that was not properly tagged, netting Atlantic salmon in inland waters and possession of Atlantic salmon caught in contravention of the Wildlife Act and the Fisheries Act.
In addition to time in jail, Mr. Thistle is also prohibited from participating in any form of fishing or holding a fishing licence, from being within 10 metres of inland waters and from residing in any cabin within 50 metres of inland waters for 10 years. As part of the offences, a canoe, a net and 11 Atlantic salmon were seized and forfeited.
On October 18 at provincial court in Corner Brook, Horace Baldwin of Cox's Cove and Dustin Clarke of Torbay were convicted and fined $4,000 each for possession of fish caught in contravention of the Fisheries Act and for illegally netting salmon.
Both men had entered guilty pleas after being observed and arrested by fish and wildlife enforcement officers for setting a net across Crabbe's River in the Bay of Islands. In addition to the fine, they are also prohibited from holding a fishing licence or participating in any fishery in Canada for a period of four years. A net, six salmon, 14 sea trout and a boat and motor were also seized as part of the investigation and forfeited to the Crown.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to protecting the province's resources and to ensuring they remain available for those who respect legislation concerning the proper management and conservation of fish and wildlife.
Suspicious activity can be reported anonymously and toll-free at any time, by calling 1-877-820-0999 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Anonymous online reports can also be submitted at www.stoppoaching.ca or www.nlcrimestoppers.com
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Director of Communications
Department of Justice and Public Safety
2016 10 21 10:45 a.m.