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Two Bay of Islands men fined for poaching, banned from fishing

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Justice

Two men from Humber Arm South convicted of illegally harvesting lobster won’t be doing any fishing of any sort for a while.

Leonard Stephen Greene, 60, and Paul Locke, 54, entered guilty pleas to poaching crustaceans when they appeared at provincial court in Corner Brook for what was supposed to be a joint trial this week.

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Greene, who resides in the community of Benoit’s Cove, changed his previously not guilty pleas to guilty on four charges, including possessing undersized lobster, possessing spawning female lobster and possessing V-notched lobster.

A V-notched lobster is one known to be able to spawn. It would have been marked, using a special tool to cut a small piece out of its tail, when previously caught by a harvester and returned to the sea. Any V-notched lobsters must be put back in the water when caught.

Those offences occurred in late June 2017

Greene also pleaded guilty to fishing for snow crab, without being authorized by a licence for that species, in May 2016.

Locke entered a guilty plea to one offence, namely possessing illegally caught lobster in late June 2017.

Greene received penalties amounting to $15,000 for his convictions, including more than $11,670 in fines and having to forfeit almost $3,330 in proceeds from his illegal catches.

Greene is also banned from fishing for a year and has to provide the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada with notices of departure time, destination and return time if he ventures out on Canadian fishing waters during that time.

Locke, meanwhile, was given a $3,000 fine and a three-year prohibition from fishing. He is only allowed on coastal waters to access his cabin in the Bay of Islands and is not permitted to have any fishing gear of any kind in his possession while doing so.

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