R v. Rice

In Fish Cases, Miscellaneous, Offences on (Updated )

This case involved a charge under s. 63(1) of the Fisheries Act of making a “false or misleading statement” when estimating the amount of crab caught for the purpose filling out fishing logs. After landing the crab and making deductions for ice, water and barnacles, the landed weight was 37,238 lbs while the estimated weight was 31,348 lbs. In deciding whether or not the captain of the vessel had made a false estimate, the court followed R. v. Kavanagh [2002] N.J. No. 124 to define an estimate as “using one’s best skills and talents . . . It is broad enough to allow the influence of various factors that could effect the estimate, such as catch size, excessive use of ice if traveling long distances, and factors similar in nature. And, it is of sufficient particularity that it does not render section 63 meaningless by allowing any guess to be included in the term ‘estimate'” (para. 14). Notwithstanding some evidence that the crab trays had been overfilled, the court acquitted based upon evidence that the captain had based his estimate upon an average weight of 52 lbs per tray which was two pounds higher than the industry average of 50 lbs per tray.