R v. Biggin, 2007 CanLII 13690

In Due Diligence, Fish Cases, Offences on (Updated )

This case involved a commercial crab fisher whose marked crab traps were found well within a closed area. After a useful review of the law regarding due diligence, mistake of fact, the definition of "fishing" and the onus of proof, the court rejected a due diligence defence on the following basis: In this case, the crab pots were well within …

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R v. Decker, 2007 NLTD 71

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This case involved a seal hunter who was unable to accommodate an observer because he already had a crew of ten and his Canadian Steamship Inspection (CSI) certificate only allowed him to have seven people on board. At trial, the summary conviction court acquitted the accused on the basis that D.F.O. ought to have provided reasonable notice prior to seeking …

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R v. Quinlan Brothers Ltd., 2011 NLCA 22

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This case involved a fish processing company and its two weigh masters who were charged with under-reporting the weight of a load of snow crab by approximately 5,000 pounds. At trial, the second weigh master advanced a defence of mistake of fact and the fish processor advanced a defence of due diligence. With respect to the mistake of fact defence, …

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R v. Patey, 2008 CanLII 2132

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This case involved a angler who was observed by fisheries guardians to be in possession of two recently caught salmon with fish tags that had been affixed in a manner that allowed them to be removed and re-used. At trial, the anglers son gave evidence that he placed drinking straws into the locking mechanism without his father’s knowledge or consent. …

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R v. Ralph, 2008 NLTD 10

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This case involved a fish harvester who was convicted at trial of conducting fishing activity while not being monitored by a Fisheries and Oceans approved Vessel Monitoring System ("VMS"). Upon summary conviction appeal, the appeal court held that the trial judge imposed too high a burden upon the fish harvester. The appeal court said as follows: A VMS system was …

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F.H v. McDougall, 2008 SCC 53

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This is pronouncement by the Supreme Court of Canada on the civil burden of proof "on a balance of probabilities". Although this is not a fisheries case, since this is the burden of proof by which an accused fisher must establish a due diligence defence, it is an important decision for fisheries prosecutions. In this case the court rejected an …

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Shawn Ralph v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2008 NLTD 10

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This case involved a fish harvester who was convicted at trial of conducting fishing activity while not being monitored by a Fisheries and Oceans approved Vessel Monitoring System ("VMS"). Upon summary conviction appeal, the appeal court held that the trial judge imposed too high a burden upon the fish harvester. The appeal court said as follows: A VMS system was …

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R v. Neary, 2010 NSSC 466

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This case involved charges under s. 48 of the Atlantic Fisheries Regulations for possessing undersize mackeral that were incidental catch. Section 48 of the Regulations provides as follows: (1)Subject to ss. (2) and (4), no person shall fish for, buy, sell or have in his possession any mackerel that is less than 25 cm in length. (2) Subsection (1) does …

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