This case was a summary conviction appeal involving an east coast halibut fisherman who was charged with exceeding the cod by-catch provisions as set out in his fishing licence. His licence provided that if a fisherman exceeds the 30 per cent by-catch level in any fishing trip, then on any subsequent fishing trip if he exceeds the 30 per cent limit he must remove his gear from the water for a minimum period of 30 days. In this particular case, the fisherman exceeded his limit on both May 7 and May 11 and then continued to fish on the following days of May 12 and May 14.
At the trial level, the court acquitted the fisherman on the charge based upon an interpretation of “fishing trip” to mean “catching almost the amount of fish that the boat would allow” (para. 6).
Upon appeal, the acquittal was set aside and a conviction was entered. In entering the conviction the appeal court relied upon section 15(2) of the Interpretation Act to allow him to apply the definition of “fishing trip” contained in the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985. In the alternative, the court also would have found that a fishing trip ended when the fish caught during the time at sea was off loaded.