Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Guilty Plea from 2018 Fishing Charges brings near 50,000 dollar fine

The Federal Government has released some details towards a court case that goes back to  2018  commercial fishing charges issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, an enforcement action  that has taken over four years to get to the penalty phase.

Yesterday an information release outlined the case against commercial fisherman Adrian Slavko Kern, the Master of the vessel Mandala No. 1, who was fishing commercially for halibut and sablefish between September 13 and 19 of 2018.

During that period of time the vessel illegally set its fishing gear in the Chatham Sound area near Prince Rupert, an area closed at the time for harvest.

Image of Chatham Sound from mapcarta

The lengthy period between charges and punishment came to an end at the Prince Rupert Court House in October 2022.

The Government announcement of Tuesday noted of the level of fines assessed as part of the judgement.

On October 31st, 2022, commercial fisherman Adrian Slavko Kern was fined a total of $49,704.68 for violating Canada’s Fisheries Act. 

Mr. Kern pleaded guilty in Prince Rupert Provincial Court and was ordered to pay a fine of $25,000 for illegally setting fishing gear plus an additional $24,706.48 for the illegal sale of fish. 

The court judgement also prohibited Mr. Kern from applying for a new commercial fishing licence and from fishing under any commercial licence for a period of 8 months.

It was noted that Mr. Kern has three prior convictions for violations under the Fisheries Act from 2003, 2005 and 2020, which the Judge took into consideration in his sentencing.

The announcement also provided an outline of some of the work that DFO officer take towards the enforcement process.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to enforce the Fisheries Act. DFO’s enforcement program uses a wide range of tools to do this by pursuing a risk-based, intelligence-supported approach. 

The Department deploys fishery officers to respond to priority issues through a variety of methods, including aerial, ocean, river, on-the-ground, night and plainclothes patrols. 

In addition to these patrols, DFO dedicates officers to complex and large investigations, as well as education and awareness activities.

DFO also used the announcement towards a call for assistance from the public when it comes to enforcement of Fisheries Act violations.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, DFO Pacific region’s toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4366, or email the details to

Tuesday's announcement can be reviewed here.

More notes on the Fishery on the North Coast can be explored here.  


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