Monday September 01, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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Fines for serious fishing and hunting infractions increased

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The Government of Saskatchewan has made significant changes to the fine structure for unlawful hunting and fishing activities.

"Hunting, fishing and trapping are an integral part of Saskatchewan's heritage, and these changes send a clear message that these resources are valued and will be protected," Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said. "In some instances fines for serious resource infractions have been doubled. We hope these increased penalties will serve as a deterrent to those who consider abusing our resources in the future."

The changes are a result of a survey of anglers and hunters in 2012, and from a recommendation by the government's Red Tape Reduction committee.

A scan of surrounding jurisdictions indicated that doubling fines for more serious offences would bring Saskatchewan in line or ahead of most other jurisdictions for comparable violations.

"Hunters and anglers contribute a great deal of time, money, and effort to conserve our natural resources," Cheveldayoff said. "Our hunting and angling laws are designed to achieve management objectives and to ensure the ethical harvest of our fish and wildlife."

Changes to hunting infraction fines include:

Unlawful hunting has increased from $500, to $1,000, plus animal or bird fee.

Unlawful possession has increased from $500, to $1,000, plus animal or bird fee.

Exceeding wildlife limit has increased from $200, to $400 plus animal or bird fee.

Unlawful use of a vehicle for hunting has increased from $500, to $1,000, plus animal or bird fee.

Loaded firearm in a vehicle has increased from $200 to $400.

Leaving edible game in the field increased from $100, plus animal or bird fee to $200, plus animal or bird fee.

The animal or bird fee has also increased. These fees have risen from $50 to $500 and now range from $100 to $1,000, depending upon the species.

Changes to fishing infraction fines include:

Angling during closed times has increased from $200, plus $25/fish to a maximum of $1,000 to $400, plus $50/fish to a maximum of $2,000.

Exceeding angling limits has increased from $100, plus $25/fish to a maximum of $1,000 to $200, plus $50/fish to a maximum of $2,000.

Selling fish taken by angling has increased from $250, plus $25/fish to a maximum of $1,000 to $500, plus $50/fish to a maximum of $2,000.

Wasting fish has increased from $100, plus $25/fish to a maximum $1,000 to $200, plus $50/fish to a maximum $2,000.

Possessing or using live fish for bait has increased from $200 to $400.

Use of prohibited methods for fishing has increased from $150, plus $25/fish to a maximum $1,000 to $300, plus $50/fish to a maximum $2,000.

These illegal activities not only rob law-abiding hunters and anglers of game and fish, they waste business and taxpayer revenue, and deny others the opportunity to see and experience all of the natural resources that Saskatchewan has to offer.

The changes are timely, as the fine structure for unlawful hunting dates back to 2000, and the fisheries infractions date to the mid-1990s.

If you suspect wildlife, fisheries, environmental or forestry violations, call the local Ministry of Environment office, Saskatchewan's toll-free Turn In Poachers line at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 for SaskTel cell phone subscribers, or report a violation online at www.saskatchewan.ca/conservation. Callers may be eligible for cash rewards from the SaskTip Reward Program.

The Ministry of Environment provides science-based solutions, compliance and mitigation measures aimed at protecting the environment, safeguarding communities and helping to ensure a better quality for life for all Saskatchewan residents.


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