Net seized from European fishing vessel had protected species
8th May 2004
A net from one of the Portuguese trawlers boarded
by Canadian officials shows evidence of illegal
fishing in international waters, according to the
Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
It contained approximately a tonne and a half of fish,
of which about 65 per of the total catch were
species that are under moratorium," he said.
"About 30 per cent was cod, and 18 per cent
American plaice and red fish."
The net was recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean just outside Canada's 200-mile limit.
FROM MAY 6, 2004: Canada boards vessels accused of illegal fishing
Jenkins told reporters Saturday it's believed the crew cut the net free and let it sink as Canadian coast guard officials were about to inspect the trawler, named Brites, one of several boats boarded in the past week.
"Once the inspector called to get on board, the ship's master indicated he was having problems raising the net," said Jenkins. "He told us to stand by. When the inspectors got on board the vessel, the net was gone."
Portugal has denied any wrongdoing.
Federal Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan announced in Ottawa on Saturday that the net provides clear evidence of serious fishing infractions. He said the holes in the net were smaller than the legal limit allowed for catching young fish.
Most of the fish found in the net were prohibited species, said Randy Jenkins, the DFO's acting director conservation and protection