A Greater Toronto area restaurant owner pleaded guilty and was fined a total of $10,000 for illegally possessing spiny softshell turtles and listing them for sale on the menu.


Da Zhao Jian of Fortune Seafood Restaurant was fined $5,000 under the Endangered Species Act for unlawfully possessing spiny softshell turtles, and $5,000 under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act for unlawfully listing a specially protected species on the menu at the Fortune Seafood Restaurant.

The court heard that on May 26, 2010, conservation officers conducted an inspection at the Fortune Seafood Restaurant and discovered 31 frozen female spiny softshell turtles in the restaurant.

Spiny softshell turtles are a native species protected under the Endangered Species Act and listed as threatened. Under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, they are listed as specially protected.

Justice of the Peace Ruth Kerbel heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Scarborough, on March 21, 2013.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.

You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).