On February 9, 2015, two commercial fishers were fined a total of $4,000 and one had her commercial fishing licence suspended after pleading guilty to a total of five charges in Territorial court.
William Michell and Nancy Michel pleaded guilty to commercial fishing during the closed season as outlined in the Northwest Territories Fishing Regulations, and obstructing a Fishery Officer who was carrying out duties under the Fishery Act. Michel also pleaded guilty to violating the Fishing General Regulations by failing to comply with a condition of the fishing licence. Michell was fined a total of $1,000 for his two charges, while Michel was fined a total of $3,000 for her three charges and also had her commercial fishing licence suspended until March 31, 2015.
These charges resulted from a routine aerial surveillance flight of Great Slave Lake on July 18, 2014. While patrolling the water, Fishery Officers observed the vessel Shadow fishing in a closed area near Hay River, Northwest Territories, which led to an investigation.
Defined areas within Great Slave Lake are closed to commercial fishing to protect Inconnu stocks.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to the conservation and protection of northern fish stocks through public awareness, regulations, partnerships and, where necessary, enforcement action. Illegal fishing is a threat to the sustainability of important fishing resources and can be reported in the Northwest Territories by contacting the Fisheries and Oceans Canada office in Yellowknife at 867-669-4900.
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada manages the Great Slave Lake commercial fishery based on science, traditional and local knowledge, in partnership with the Great Slave Lake Advisory Committee, commercial fishers and Aboriginal groups.
- The by-catch of Inconnu is currently managed by closure zones. Areas are closed where Buffalo River Inconnu are known to congregate and where high numbers of Inconnu have been historically harvested. The current closed areas, including Buffalo River, have been in place since 2008, and are continually being evaluated to ensure they are effective.
- The Buffalo River Inconnu stock is scheduled to be reviewed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 2016.