Kate Cheung recently wrote to The Scuba News Canada concerning Scott Steer (British Columbia) and his illegal fish harvesting. He was found guilty of serious violations of the Fisheries Act once more.
Here are some quick facts about Scott Steer from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada newsletter dated July 2021.
- Since 2008 there have been 15 different DFO files on Scott Steer.
- Over the last several years 4 vessels and two vehicles have been seized as evidence against Mr. Steer.
- On May 31, 2021, 8 new charges in Nanaimo were laid against Mr. Steer, and a numbered company owned by a family member, for illegal fishing activities involving the harvest of sea cucumbers between July 2019 and March 2020.
- Mr. Steer was again arrested and appeared in Court on June 1, 2021 for a bail hearing for breaching his Court-ordered conditions.
- On July 6, 2021, 3 additional new charges against Mr. Steer were sworn in Nanaimo Provincial Court and that case is yet to be heard.
- Two of the three crew members arrested on March 2, 2020, are awaiting trial.
- Harvesters who choose to ignore the rules give themselves an unfair advantage, undermine the effective management of the fishery, and threaten the sustainability of the resource.
- Excess harvesting threatens conservation. It also could result in management changes or closures, diminish the significant economic benefit from the fishery to coastal communities, recreational fisheries, commercial harvesters and tourism, and threaten the traditional food source for Indigenous people. The commercial crab fishery accounts for almost one third (approximately 31%) of the wholesale value of the province’s wild shellfish products.
- Crab caught illegally can be laundered into the legitimate retail market. Only fish caught under a licence, which permits the sale, or purchase of fish, may be purchased or sold. Any fish sold must be processed through a licensed plant to ensure quality and public safety. Fish that has not been inspected may be unsafe for consumption and post significant health risks.
- As part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s work to end illegal activity, the Department asks the public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336, or email the details to [email protected].
Here is Kate Cheung’s letter sent to us.
My name is Kate Cheung, and I represent Stella Cheung who is the owner of Millennium Trading Company, located in Hong Kong. In February 2022, Stella met Scott Steer of Alaskan Feast on Instagram (@alaskanfeast), a company who is familiar with Hoi-Bo Fisheries Inc., in British Columbia, whose company Alaskan Feast was able to export geoducks to Hong Kong. Mr. Steer provided us his company bank account info, and we also confirmed with Canada that his company is still active.
Because of his fisherman experiences and knowledge of all seafood suppliers in Canada. We started working with him without checking his background clearly. At first when we placed orders, Mr. Steer would send the orders through Hoi-Bo Fisheries Inc., as well as through another company called Ocean Gate Fishery Ltd. We were convinced by Mr. Steer’s fisherman experiences and multiple seafood offers, so we continued sent him money for purchasing.
However, in the month of July 2022, after Stella sent a payment of around $7,700 CAD to Mr. Steer’s account he stopped responding to Stella and did not respond by cell phone.
When we contacted our supplies in Canada, we found out that he is a serial offender who’s been convicted of multiple illegal fishing charges. It seems he has continued to commit fraud.
We wish to obtain your assistance to recover the money lost by Stella. Please work with legal authorities to apprehend Mr. Steer and bring justice to people who lost their money. Thank you very much.
1-510-283-3319 (U.S. number)
In order to assist Kate Cheung, we are reaching out to our readers, fishermen, and divers.