Theft of Oysters

Theft of Oysters

The offence of theft of oysters is outlined in section 323(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of theft of oysters when they take oysters or oyster brood from oyster beds, layings, or fisheries clearly marked out or known as belonging to another person.

Examples

Person A takes oysters from person B’s oyster bed because they are growing faster and larger than person A’s oysters.

Person C sells person D’s oyster bed to person E without person D’s knowledge or consent.

Person F, a jeweller, goes through person G’s oyster bed at night without person G’s knowledge or consent to take the oysters’ pearls and sell them in his store.

Cases

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Not Oysters or Oyster Brood

Where the person takes something other than oysters or oyster broods from another person’s oyster bed, laying, or fishery, they may not have completed the offence of theft of oysters. They may have, however, committed another theft offence.

Not an Oyster Bed, Laying, or Fishery

Where the person takes oysters from somewhere other than another person’s oyster bed, laying, or fishery, they may not have completed the offence of theft of oysters.

For example, if person A finds oysters naturally in the ocean and takes them, they have not committed the offence of theft of oysters.

Consent of Owner

Where the person has the owner’s consent to take their oysters or oyster broods, they have not completed the offence of theft of oysters.

Lack of Intention

Where the person lacks the intention to steal, they may not have completed the offence of theft of oysters. For example, if person A walks through person B’s oyster bed and several oysters happen to fall into their shoes without them noticing, person A may not have completed the offence of theft of oysters.

Colour of Right

Colour of right refers to a person’s legal right to something. If a person owns an item, they have colour of right in that item.