Man gets plenty of time to pay off poaching fine
Published on November 13, 2013
CORNER BROOK — A man who claimed he was poaching salmon to put food on his table has been given a $1,200 fine and has been prohibited from applying for a fishing licence for three years.
Lloyd Terry Whitehorne, 52, was charged after officers from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans carried out a surveillance program in response to a complaint of possible poaching activity in the coastal waters off Irishtown-Summerside this past summer.
During a stakeout of an area where a net had been set in the waters, Whitehorne was observed approaching the area and hauling the net.
There were two Atlantic salmon in the net, which was set in an area close to the mouth of the Humber River.
Whitehorne was charged with illegally setting fishing gear and unlawfully possessing fish. The gear-setting offence as withdrawn when he entered a guilty plea to illegal possession of the salmon.
Judge Kymil Howe said she found his explanation “suspect” and said Whitehorne has been around long enough to know the concerted conservation effort in place to protect Atlantic salmon stocks.
Crown attorney Adam Joyce had asked for a fine of between $2,000 and $3,000 and a three-year prohibition that would keep Whitehorne off any coastal waters unless he was tavelling. She told him setting a salmon net is indiscriminate and could have resulted in a higher mortality of salmon and other species.
Defence counsel Jodi MacDonald asked for a lower fine of between $500 and $1,000, because of Whitehorne’s financial situation. MacDonald also asked for a shorter prohibition so Whitehorne could eventually be legally permitted to be on coastal waters to fish for food.
Howe said the fine suggested by the Crown was within the usual range for this type of offence, but also took Whitehorne’s personal circumstances into consideration. Noting the Christmas season is fast approaching, the judge told Whitehorne he could pay his fine at a rate of $50 per month for 26 months and that his first payment would not be due until Jan. 16.
She also included the condition that Whitehorne not apply for any type of fishing licence in addition to being prohibited from being on coastal waters for three years.