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Queen Charlotte Lodge Fined 35K


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Queen Charlotte Lodge will pay $35,000 after pleading guilty to six violations of the federal FisheriesAct.

The luxury fishing resort on Naden Harbour is the second Haida Gwaii fishing lodge to pay majorfines in just over a year.

Back in December 2015, Naden Lodge was fined $15,000 for exceeding possession limits and sellingfish not covered by a commercial licence.

“We’re setting an example, and I hope that all lodges are taking note,” said Geoff Thorburn, a localfishery officer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

On Dec. 14, 2016, Queen Charlotte Lodge pled guilty to six violations.

But its $35,000 penalty is what the court agreed would be appropriate for all 37 charges thecompany was facing.

The charges date back over two years, to Aug. 8, 2014, when fishery officers did a surprise inspectionof the lodge.

From the QCL freezers, officers seized about 750 lbs. of mishandled or mislabeled fish: 38 halibut, 28chinook, 119 coho, six pink salmon, and a bag with 28 halibut filets.

The fish will now be donated to elders’ and school programs on Haida Gwaii.

The most serious violation the lodge pled guilty to was cutting the halibut in such a way that itcouldn’t be measured by inspectors by law, they must be able to measure a halibut in possessionto see if it is over or under the legal size.

Queen Charlotte Lodge also failed to label individual packages of fish and larger boxes with thewords, ‘Sport-caught fish: Not for Sale,’ which is also required by law.

Individual packages were missing labels to show the species of fish inside, and larger containers didnot have either the name of the fisher who caught them, nor the date the fish was caught.

As with Naden Lodge, which was ordered to pay $12,000 of its $15,000 fine toward a fund for localnon-profit fish habitat conservation groups, $32,000 of the Queen Charlotte Lodge penalty is setaside for the same purpose.

In another case, Queen Charlotte Lodge is charged with contravening commercial fishing licenceconditions, selling illegally caught fish, and producing false records in August 2015. None of thosecharges has been proven in court.

Between the Naden Lodge and Queen Charlotte Lodge fines over the last 13 months, at least $44,000is now available to local conservation groups for fisheries and habitat rehabilitation, fisherieseducation programs or marine mammal research.

Groups can apply for the funds by phoning the supervisor in the Queen Charlotte DFO office at 250-559-4413.

“We’re here to help the community as best we can,” said Thorburn, noting that the natural resourcesof Haida Gwaii are the reason many people live here.

“Especially for the Haida people, who have been here since time immemorial, it’s really importantthat it stays that way.”

Edited by BillM
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that makes a lot more sense. The processing of the fish was being mishandled and therefore they were in violation.


My guess is that they had left the fish processing to newer employees and the situation was being totally mismanaged.


I fished Massett this summer and Its pretty pathetic to be honest the way fish processing and handling is managed up there. I had my catches processed by a company called haida wild and they had mis-identified some of our catches as well.


I will say that 35,000 is a joke fine for a place like that when considering the fact that a trip to one of those lodges costs upwards of 6 grand for a week.


Its also sad to hear that there is that much abuse of the system going on when the fishing has definitely been in decline over the past 20 years.

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lots of this stuff goes on at the lodges unfortunately


these violations were catches from their unguided boats, and the lodge intentionally failed to report their clients, hence the mislabeled and mishandled packages....kinda interesting how the DFO showed up for a surprise inspection...

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Sounds like the DFO went on a fishing trip of their own with the rule book wide open, wonder how many freezers of members here would pass the acid test as far as fish packaged to make counting possible, patch of skin for ID and even would the length be able to be determined in the case of slot sizes, don't be too quick to cast the first stone.

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I see what you're saying, but it wasn't at all like that....they need to do more "fishing trips" imo, these are not just a few accidental mistakes...


DFO transport regs apply until an angler reaches their permanent residence or delivered to processing facility, pretty easy for any honest angler to comply with....sport retention of hali is a very hot issue, no problem with lodges receiving fines when they deliberately abuse the resource

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Cost of doing business,.. They got sloppy, probably cut corners. no checks and balances.

I am sure new policies and procedure are now in place.


All lodges will shape up.


All that being said, they should not have that much fish in the freezer.. Really sloppy they should have donated fish not taken by clients.

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