A provincial court judge has fined two men $1000 each for illegal shellfish harvesting in the Prince Rupert area over three years ago.
Wieler Leslie Innes of Prince Rupert and former area resident James Frank Russ pleaded guilty to charges of catching and retaining cockles from a closed beach February 25th, 2015.
Fishery officers with DFO picked up the pair November 25, 2011 at the Fairview Container Port beach as they were doing a routine field patrol of contaminated and closed areas near Prince Rupert.
Officers say they confiscated 244 cockles and returned them live to the ocean.
The DFO says the area is well known locally as a closed contaminated site and that consuming contaminated fish can have serious health consequences including paralytic shellfish poison (red tide), Hepatitis A, and salmonella.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada says cooking shellfish prior to consuming it does not destroy paralytic shellfish poison or eliminate the risks.