Gregory Logan, of Woodmans Point, was convicted of seven counts of tracking offences relating to 250 narwhal ivory tusks. He was given an eight-month conditional sentence that includes four months of house arrest.
Logan was sentenced Tuesday. The smuggled tusks were displayed for the media in Dartmouth Wednesday.
'Species of concern'
Jennifer Kennedy, a spokeswoman for federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, said the illegal exporting went on for seven years. Logan was arrested and charged by Environment Canada in 2011.
The $385,000 penalty is the largest in Canada for offences under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act, she said.
The narwhal is a medium-sized whale with a long ivory tusk which spirals counter-clockwise several feet forward from its head. It is a “species of special concern,” according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. The narwhal is a protected species in the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Only Inuit can hunt narwhal
Only Inuit people can legally harvest narwhal in Canada. It’s used as a source of food and income.
“The harvest and transport of tusks is regulated to ensure that legal trade continues to remain viable and sustainable,” Kennedy said in a media release.
Operation Longtooth began in April 2009, when Environment Canada’s enforcement branch received information from enforcement agencies in the United States about the illegal purchase of narwhal tusks.
The operation uncovered a smuggling chain taking the tusks from Canada to buyers in the U.S.
Logan is prohibited from possessing or purchasing marine mammal products for 10 years. He also forfeited a truck and trailer he used during the smuggling.