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Two men fined for throwing objects at sea lions, exceeding daily halibut limit

Dec 23 2011

Two men were fined a total of $5,000 for throwing objects at Stellar sea lions while they were fishing and taking more halibut than allowed.

Nolan Wilks was fined $2,000 at Duncan provincial court Wednesday after pleading guilty to disturbing Stellar sea lions, a contravention of Marine Mammal Regulations.

Wilks also admitted exceeding the daily limit for halibut and obstructing a fishery officer. He was fined $500 for each offence.

Campbell Eagles-McKinnon was fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to exceeding the daily limit for halibut and obstructing a fishery officer.

In August last year, a Parks Canada warden reported the occupants of a recreational fishing vessel chasing sea lions away from their haul-out near Carmanah Point in Pacific Rim National Park.

Stellar sea lions are listed as special concern under the Species At Risk Act and boats are supposed to stay 100 metres away from haul-outs.

Fishery officers found the boat later that day at a Port Renfrew dock and the two men were found to be in possession of 18 halibut. The daily limit is one fish each.

Both men were charged with obstruction of a fishery officer by making false statements and interfering with evidence.

The fines will go to the Port Renfrew Salmon Enhancement Society and the forfeited halibut were donated to a Victoria food bank and the SPCA's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre.

jlavoie@timescolonist.com

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