Thermal imaging camera technology has helped the province’s fish and wildlife enforcement officers apprehened suspected poachers, a news release notes.
Earlier this month the cameras aided in arrested two men who face a number of charges under the federal Fisheries Act.
On July 7, a 20-year-old man was arrested following an investigation of illegal netting at the mouth of Little Barachios Brook in the Bay St. George area.
Among other items, officers seized an illegal gill net and 13 Atlantic salmon weighing approximately 65 pounds.
On July 8, a 41-year-old man from the town of Stephenville Crossing was arrested for illegally netting salmon in coastal waters.
The man was known to officers and has previous convictions for illegally netting Atlantic salmon. Officers seized a cooler, an illegal gill net and two Atlantic salmon.
The thermal imaging cameras are specifically designed for covert law enforcement activities.
“Poachers often use the cover of darkness to set illegal nets in rivers and coastal waters,” the news release states. “These new devices allow officers to see clearly in total darkness, fog and through foliage and brush. These cameras differ from standard night vision technology in that they pick up heat signatures rather than dispersed light. The cameras allow officers to see the heat signatures of individuals and recently operated machinery such as vehicles or outboard motors during surveillance operations.”
The recent closure of salmon rivers due to low water conditions makes salmon particularly vulnerable to poaching.
The public is reminded they can anonymously report suspected poaching activity to officers 24 hours a day, toll-free at 1-877-820-0999 or online at www.stoppoaching.ca.