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B.C. plant-based foods manufacturer fined for Fisheries Act violation

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On February 19, 2018, veggie food producer Garden Protein International Inc. (Gardein), pleaded guilty in the Provincial Court of British Columbia to one count of depositing a deleterious substance in an area where it may enter fish-bearing water in violation of the Fisheries Act.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Gardein was ordered to pay a penalty of $285,000, which will be directed to the federal Environmental Damages Fund.

Additionally, the company was ordered to install further infrastructure at its Richmond-based plant to prevent future spills. According to the CBC, this means an additional exterior trench drain must be installed to prevent any future discharges and pollution.

On February 5, 2016, ECCC enforcement officers launched an investigation after receiving a report that vegetable oil had been released into a ditch on the defendant’s property, which leads into the Fraser River. ECCC said that the inspection revealed a release of oil and that samples and analyses confirmed a violation of the Fisheries Act.

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The Fraser River is identified by the Government of British Columbia as part of a classified water system, meaning it is classified as having a high fisheries value, and it requires special fishing licenses.

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