A B.C. man is under police investigation after RCMP searched a vessel at the Wards Marina, located on the Nicomekl River, and found three large coolers full of crabs.
According to an RCMP news release issued Wednesday, the Vancouver Pacific Shiprider Program observed a suspicious vessel being removed from the water at the South Surrey marina.
The suspect, who was pulling the vessel out of the water at the time police made contact, was arrested for illegal possession of crabs and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were contacted to conduct a Fisheries Act investigation, Sgt. Mike Fox told Peace Arch News Wednesday.
Police seized 89 crabs and returned them to the ocean.
RCMP Shiprider members also conducted an impaired-driving investigation and served a three-day immediate roadside probation.
The driving suspension prohibits the suspect from operating both water and road vehicles for the duration of the ban.
A truck and 21’ Bayliner vessel and boat registered to the suspect were seized.
RCMP Shiprider check leads to Illegal Fishing investigation https://t.co/PJKtiZS4O4
— BCRCMP (@BCRCMP) July 4, 2018
Police say charges are pending against a 50-year-old man.
Fox said police were unable to get an official city of residency for the suspect, but have confirmed that he lives in the Lower Mainland.
Fox said there are two teams within the Shiprider program, one based out of Surrey and the other based out of Victoria.
“It’s a specialized program, high-speed vessels that work hand in hand in direct partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard,” Fox said.
Both U.S. Coast Guard and RCMP members are specifically trained for Shiprider operations. U.S. Coast Guard officers and RCMP members carry out investigations on the same vessel.
While in Canada, Fox said, U.S. Coast Guard members are given a peace officer status and work under direction of the RCMP.
“It removes the barrier of law enforcement, really,” Fox added.
The Shiprider team targets any type of cross border criminality, Fox said, including illegal guns, drugs, human trafficking or fishing.