The federal government has arrested a scientist who is a former member of the federal Fisheries Bureau for illegally and unsupervised fishing on Bortell Island in British Columbia.
The minister of the environment said the scientist’s actions violated the Fisheries Act.
The Bortel Island fisheries scientist, who was caught fishing by an illegal fishery in March 2016, was arrested on Thursday, and is scheduled to appear in court on June 20.
The government said the fish caught by the fish biologist are protected under the Fisheries Acts, which require that commercial fishing activities be supervised.
The Fisheries Act prohibits fish from being caught or released for commercial fishing.
It also bans the release of caught fish for more than three years, except where the fishing is done by a licensed fishery manager.
The minister of Fisheries said the Fisheries Bureau had received a complaint in March that the scientist had illegally and unreasonably taken over 100,000 cod from Bortelle Island, which is located about 1,400 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.
He said the catch was the most significant illegal catch on Bontl Island in a decade.
The fisherman, who is not named, is a member of a scientific advisory committee that advises the Fisheries Department on fisheries management.
He was employed by the federal government until April 1, 2017.
He is now a scientist with the Canadian Marine Fisheries Service, a department of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
A fisheries biologist from the Fisheries Science and Technology Research Centre in Victoria, BC, was caught illegally fishing by the fisherman’s cod in the Bortill Islands.
The Fisheries Science Centre said it is not aware of any other recent illegal fishing.
The biologist was also caught by a commercial fishery on Boca Raton Island, about 1.5 hours south of Bortels.
The fish biologist has since been reassigned.
The fisheries biologist has been working with a fisheries advisory committee to review the fishery management in Bortells and Boca and ensure it is sustainable.
He has been in contact with the Fisheries biologist and Fisheries Science Department staff, according to a statement from the fisheries biologist’s office.