R v. Rideout

In Fish Cases, Forfeiture, Offences on (Updated )

This case involved a snow crab fisherman who was convicted of fishing out of his licenced area. In awarding a fine of $4,000, but refusing to order forfeiture of the catch valued at $35,362, the trial court relied upon the following mitigating factors: (1) Although the accused’s belief that he was fishing in his area was not reasonable it was honest; and (2) the accused incurred unsubstantiated expenses of approximately $50,000 inclusive of fuel, crew, observer and legal costs. Upon appeal by the Crown, both the summary conviction appeal court and the N.S.C.A. reduced the fine to $2,000, but imposed a forfeiture order. In doing so, the N.S.C.A. held that based upon the unsubstantiated evidence of the $50,000 in expenses claimed to have been incurred, the trial court’s failure to give sufficient weight to the principals of deterrence by not imposing forfeiture was unreasonable and therefore could be set aside based upon the test set out in R. v. Shropshire.