Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), 75 individual fishermen were charged.
Regarding (b), the last two individuals’ violation files were closed on December 23, 2010. The files state the trials started on March 16 and 17, 2004 respectively. Charges were laid in November 1996.
Regarding (c), 65 individuals were found guilty and given an absolute discharge. One individual was found not guilty. Charges against nine individuals were withdrawn by the Crown.
Regarding (d), the individuals were charged and convicted pursuant to section 27 of the marine mammal regulations, which states: No person other than a beneficiary shall sell, trade or barter a whitecoat or blueback.
In response to (e), unfortunately, this information is not available as the information was never tabulated in that format. Departmental financial records such as travel claims would be shredded for such dated expenses, a lot of the fishery officers involved are retired and, in some cases, deceased. Salaries are part of integrated budgets and are not itemized in a manner that breaks out what portion is attributed to a particular investigation or prosecution. It would be very difficult to provide an estimate, taking considerable time to provide a crude or rough estimate, as we are dealing with a 14 year investigation, involving dozens of fishery officers and other departmental staff, such as scientists, policy and economics staff, etc. Also, the costs of prosecutions are not tracked by individual files within DFO.
In response to (f), no changes were made subsequent to the conclusion of these cases, i.e., in December 2010. However, there were changes made to the marine mammal regulations regarding humane harvesting practices in 2009, including to subsections 28(2), 28(3), 28(4), and section 29 as part of the implementation of the three-step process.