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Richmond seafood processing company fined $40K for undersized crabs

RICHMOND, USA – A routine inspection of commercial seafood processing plants by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) fishery officers in January 2023 resulted in a fine of $40,000. On December 6, 2023, Tenshi Seafood Limited was handed down the fine in Richmond Provincial Court after pleading guilty to the possession of undersize crabs by a commercial business, which is a violation of Canada’s Fisheries Act.

The harvest of undersized crab is the largest threat to conservation of Dungeness crab stocks, which is a traditional food source for Indigenous communities and core to the livelihood of commercial crab harvesters. Dungeness crab is also a significant economic benefit to coastal communities; specifically, the recreational fishery industry and tourism.

This is the second significant fine for Tenshi Seafood Limited, which was also fined $75,000 in January 2020 for obstruction and ordered to comply with various conditions.

DFO has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to enforce the Fisheries Act. As part of DFO’s work to disrupt and prevent illegal activity, the Department asks the public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations.

Quick facts:

  • All commercial seafood companies are required to follow comprehensive and stringent regulations covered under Provincial and Federal laws, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations, and the Fisheries Act.
  • The significant fine underscores the seriousness of violating fishing rules and regulations under Canada’s Fisheries Act intended to protect Canada’s economic sovereignty and preserve at-risk fish populations.
  • Size limits are used as the primary conservation measure in all these crab fisheries. In British Columbia, the size limit for male Dungeness crab is 165 mm across the maximum breadth of the carapace. Females may not be retained.
  • The protection of females and a significant portion of the mature males in Dungeness crab populations ensure that harvestable stocks can be sustained.


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