RCMP are investigating after fishing gear near the wharf in Launching, P.E.I., was damaged, according to a news release.
Kings District RCMP said that on Monday, several buoys were cut from lobster traps along a trap line near the wharf.
"One of the buoys was removed from the water and painted with a profanity referencing the owner's ethnic background," RCMP said in the release Friday.
RCMP didn't reveal any more information about what was written, or what the owner's ethnicity is.
Possible hate crime
"The RCMP is taking this incident very seriously, and it will be investigated thoroughly, including whether it was racially motivated," said Sgt. Leanne Butler.
"It can be under the criminal code definition of a hate crime, and that certainly will be part of the investigation."
Butler said RCMP are conducting the operation in partnership with the Department of Fisheries. She also said there may have been other events that occurred in the area around the same time Monday that are connected to the crime, but this is the only case of damage to property RCMP are investigating. She did not specify what those other events were.
"We are doing boat patrols this summer and that certainly will be added to the areas that we would like patrols seen, and our members are also making inquiries. So you may see uniformed officers in the area at various times because we are trying to see if we can find some people that know about the incidents," Butler said.
"There is no place for hate in our communities."
People with information about the incident are asked to call the RCMP at 902-838-9300 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
More from CBC P.E.I