Clearwater Seafoods will retain its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its eastern Canadian lobster fishery, despite being found guilty of gross violations of Atlantic fisheries regulations in the fall of 2018.

It its 61-page audit report released Friday, the MSC concluded the company could keep its certification but imposed some new conditions related to the certification.

In 2018, Clearwater plead guilty to storing 3,800 lobster traps on the ocean bottom off the Nova Scotia coast for upward of two months in the fall of 2017 — for 17 consecutive days on one occasion, 31 consecutive days on another, according to an investigation by CBC news. The violation resulted in a fine of $30,000 (€26,091).

The incident triggered a request by NGO SeaChoice to the MSC for an expedited audit of the fishery.