R v. William David Sam

In Fish Cases, Miscellaneous, Offences on (Updated )

In this case the accused was charged under the British Columbia Sports Fishing Regulations with a number of offences including snagging, and not having a sport fishing licence. In the regulations, "sport fishing" was defined as " fishing for recreational purposes" . The accused was convicted at trial. He appealed on the grounds that it had not been proven he was " sport fishing" and that this was an essential element of the offence.

On appeal, Mr. Justice Meredith held that " however difficult it might be to prove that an accused was fishing for pleasure or pastime (as against, for instance, out of hunger or for survival) nevertheless recreation is the vital element that must be proven . . ."

Counsel for the Appellant: H.M.G. Braker

Counsel for the Respondent: J.W. Bennie


This case was recently followed in R. v. Valeres et al. (3 December 1996) Burnaby Provincial Court File No. 57217 (reasons have not been transcribed)

Although the Sport Fishing Regulations have been replaced since the decision of R. v. Sam, the definition of " Sport Fishing" has not changed.