Abalone poachers receive conditional sentences, fines

  • Apr. 20, 2007 9:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay-Was the punishment enough? It was the biggest abalone poaching bust in BC history, but did brothers Stan and Daniel MacNeill, along with Randall Graff, all of Skidegate, receive a big enough sentence for their crime?
At least one islander says no.
When the sentences were handed down on Thursday in Prince Rupert, Stan MacNeill was ordered to pay $20,000, given a 12-month conditional sentence with six months house arrest, and a five year scuba-diving prohibition.
Randall Graff and Daniel MacNeill were both given four month conditional sentences, with three months house arrest, two year dive bans, 80 hours of community service and $10,000 in monetary penalties.
Stan MacNeill has also forfeited his truck, boat and dive equipment valued at $143,000. The other men forfeit $4,000 in equipment.
Judson Brown, who works in natural resource management in Skidegate, said he thought the sentence light, considering it was the first case prosecuted under the Species at Risk Act, a relatively new piece of legislation that is supposed to protect threatened and endangered species.
The men were caught with 11,000 abalone loaded on the back of their truck in February 2006 near Port Edward, the largest seizure ever in BC.
In 2004, a Vancouver Island man was fined $25,000 and received a 10-year diving prohibition. He the subject of a year-long investigation, but when he was caught only 450 animals were seized.
Mr. Brown says there is an adage in his line of work, that judges don’t view crimes against resources in a same light as crimes like bank robbery and assault.
Northern abalone has been banned from all harvesting since 1990 and the molluscs have been listed as threatened since 1999.
An as yet unpublished Fisheries and Oceans Canada report projects that abalone could be extinct in BC waters in 50 years.
Stan McNeill has faced fisheries violations before. In April 2002, he pleaded guilty for harvesting and selling sablefish without a proper license and received a $10,000 fine.

Just Posted

Masset fishing derby proves to be a catch

All ages participated in the competition to bring in the top salmon and halibut hauls

Yarn Bombing mastermind is back in town

Big Canada Day longweekend in the works

Maritime Museum project receives legacy grant

A special project of the Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum Society has been… Continue reading

Richardson Ranch celebrating 100 years of family and ranching in Haida Gwaii

Tlell Polled Hereford’s continue to win awards while the ranch becomes a popular spot for visitors

Sustainble economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Family frustrated Terrace dad with advanced cancer must wait weeks for treatment

‘We can see his health declining every day,’ daughter says

Most Read