By Lisa Brown
Three men convicted of late-night lobster poaching using hoop nets at the Mill Cove wharf were fined $6,000 December 12. Jamie Todd Boutilier, 38, and Wilson David Jollimore, 55, both of Mill Cove, and 64-year-old Bruce James Thomas of Middleton were fined $2,000 each on charges of fishing for lobster and possessing lobster during a closed time.
At trial back in August, the court heard that fishery officers watched the trio on the wharf late into the evening on October 2, 2010. The men were drinking beer and periodically checking hoop nets which were in the water off the wharf.
A fishery officer watching with binoculars testified he saw the men remove three lobsters from the nets as he conducted surveillance.
When the trial resumed last month, Mr. Boutilier and Mr. Jollimore both took the stand. They admitted being at the wharf, but denied any involvement with hoop net fishing.
In rendering his decision last week, Provincial Court Judge Jim Burrill said he didn't believe the men and was satisfied with the fishery officer's observations.
"I'm satisfied that he did observe what he said he observed," Judge Burrill said.
However, he acquitted the men of an additional allegation of possessing undersized lobsters, saying the Crown failed to connect the trio to lobsters found behind a nearby shed that night. The judge instead convicted them only of possessing the three lobsters seen by the fishery officer.
Still, he said, any poaching is a serious offence. More....