Banned commercial fisher arrested at sea in Nanaimo

Crab fisher Scott Steer has been incarcerated three times since 2013

  • May. 27, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Fisheries officials used video surveillance and phone records to bust a commercial crab fisher who was banned from fishing.

Commercial crab fisherman Scott Steer remains behind bars following his April 10 at-sea arrest by Department of Fisheries and Oceans officers for failing to comply with a court-ordered ban.

And it was technology that played a part in catching Steer in the act.

According to a tweet by the fisheries department (@DFO_Pacific), fisheries officers used “video surveillance/phone records” to catch Steer.

Steer was banned from being on any vessel other than BC Ferries, and had been out on bail and subject to a nightly curfew and a prohibition from possessing any type of fishing gear or paraphernalia.

Following his arrest, Steer was sentenced to 21 days in jail on April 21 for breaching the court ban.

But he still remains behind bars after serving his sentence.

“After the recent jail sentence was imposed, Mr. Steer appeared before the Honourable Judge Layperson on outstanding warrants. In light of Mr. Steer’s poor compliance record with court orders, he was detained in custody,” the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said in a press release.

Steer’s fishing vessel, the Holly V, was also seized.

Steer also received a four-month jail term on Oct. 8, 2015 for illegal activity that occurred in 2013 involving the illegal sale of crab and resulted in him having to forfeit fishing items.

In November of 2013, Steer was sentenced to six months in prison for various fisheries violations.

Steer is next scheduled to appear in Victoria (June 21) , Campbell River (Aug. 18) and Surrey (Sept. 6) courts for various violations.

“Illegal fishing of this nature is a grave offence and Fisheries and Oceans Canada expends considerable effort to mount surveillance, and subsequent investigations are costly and can be lengthy,” the fisheries department said in the release.