June 20, 2008

Inland Fish Enforcement Program Will Target Poachers in 2008

The 2008 season of the Inland Fish Enforcement Program (IFEP) has started with 37 field officers engaged in fish enforcement activities on inland and coastal waters. Inland Fish Enforcement officers are continuing to target organized poachers who have a negative impact on salmon and trout stocks through their illegal activities. Already this year, 43 fish-related charges have been laid against 22 individuals.

The protection of the province�s natural resources, such as salmon and trout stocks, is a priority for the Williams Government. In 2004 the IFEP was established to address concerns of the Provincial Government, conservation groups and recreational anglers who believed the Federal Government was not living up to its responsibility to provide adequate enforcement. The Provincial Government provides over $2 million each year to cover this gap and ensure the preservation of these stocks.

The 2008 Inland Fish Enforcement Program continues to build on the success of previous campaigns. Last year IFEP officers dealt with 432 fish-related offences and laid 317 charges against 112 individuals. Officers also seized 34 illegal nets, 151 Atlantic salmon, 15 boats, five vehicles and ATVs. This year, a number of convictions have occurred resulting in $60,000 in fines related to last year�s operations along with the forfeiture of salmon, trout, illegal nets, ATVs, boats and motors and other equipment. At present there a number of cases still before the courts.

The public is reminded they can anonymously report suspected poaching of salmon or trout to either Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-8477) or the IFEP Headquarters (709-637-2971).

Attached is a photograph of a recent seizure by IFEP officers in Little Bay, near Port aux Basques.

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Photo #1: Items Seized as a result of a recent IFEP operation in Little Bay

Media contact:
Ken Morrissey
Director of Communications
Department of Justice
709-729-6985, 685-6612

2008 06 20                                                    10:50 a.m.


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