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An as yet unpublished Fisheries and Oceans Canada report projects that abalone could be extinct in BC waters in 50 years.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

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Complaint against Prince George RCMP in death of Wet’suwet’en man

Thirty-five year old Dale Culver died while in Prince George RCMP custody last summer.

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read