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Charges against seafood company in death of worker dropped

'They are totally watering down and emasculating the Fisheries Act,' says Tom Siddon, who was fisheries minister for Conservative former prime minister Brian Mulroney from 1985 to 1990.

Darryl Dyck For The Globe and Mail/darryl dyck The Globe and Mail

Charges resulting from the death of a man working aboard a fishing vessel in Newfoundland in 2012 have been withdrawn against Ocean Choice International.

The seafood company was facing eight charges relating to an alleged failure as an employer to provide a safe workplace along with training and supervision.

The Crown says the charges were dropped because Ocean Choice International was not the proper corporate entity to face them.

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The death happened on the vessel Katsheshuk II while it was travelling from the Funk Island Bank to Bay Roberts on Feb. 10, 2012.

At the time, the RCMP said a 27-year-old St. Anthony, N.L., man died after being hit by a steel door that opened up to a chute used to transfer shrimp.

The Transportation Safety Board said the man was struck after another crew member who was inspecting the vessel's holding tanks accidentally activated a hydraulic lever, causing the shutter door to close instantly on the victim.

The case against Katsheshuk Fisheries, which faces the same eight charges that were laid against Ocean Choice International, has been set over until March.

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