Tag Archives: Colin Sproul

Indigenous Services Minister says Mi’kmaw fishermen in Nova Scotia being ‘let down’ by police

“We must also recognize that once again, as evidenced by the scenes of violence, Indigenous people have been let down by the police, those who are sworn to protect them,” he told a news conference in Ottawa this morning.,, Miller was joined by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.,, The Sipekne’katik fishery operates outside the federally mandated commercial season. Commercial fishermen say they worry about its impact on lobster conservation, an argument Sack is trying to discredit. Colin Sproul,,, “The real gulf between Chief Sack’s position and mine is this: we respect and support Indigenous fishery access rights, which was ratified by the Marshall decision, but we respect the entire decision,” >click to read< 16:02

The lobster catch in St. Marys Bay is down, but there’s little consensus on why

DFO has released data showing a decrease in the amount of lobster caught between 2016 and 2018 in St. Marys Bay, the body of water at the centre of a disputed Mi’kmaw fishery in southwest Nova Scotia. Lobster landings in St. Marys Bay were 1,691 metric tonnes in the 2016-2017 season with a record high value of $25 million, according to data released to CBC News by the department. Two years later, landings were down 46 per cent by weight and 32 per cent by value. >click to read< 08:19

Nova Scotia Commercial fishermen turn focus to alleged buyer in Mi’kmaw lobster dispute

Commercial fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia say they are taking a different approach on Monday in the dispute around the new self-regulated lobster fishery launched by Sipekne’katik First Nation. After several days of hauling in traps belonging to the Mi’kmaw fishers, the commercial fishermen now say they are turning their attention toward those who they believe are buying Mi’kmaw-harvested lobster. “It’s with the federal government and it’s with people from within our own community who are facilitating the buying of illegal fishery products.” A large crowd gathered in protest Monday morning in front of an alleged buyer’s home in the community of Comeauville. >click to read< 13:49

Nova Scotia Indigenous fishermen not backing down after traps removed

Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen have been locked in an ongoing dispute. Both sides say things were heated on the water on Sunday. “A Mi’kmaw fishermen went out to check his gear, and he was swarmed by commercial fishing vessels that were cutting him off and hauling their gear, stealing their traps – preventing our people from fishing,” says Sipekne’Katik First Nation Chief Michael Sack. “One of our boats was chased by a First Nations vessel, and they made an attempt to ram him and to board him,” says Sproul. “He immediately turned around and retreated here to Meteghan.” Sack says, while having their gear hauled up by commercial fishermen slows their operation a bit, they are in it for the long haul – with no plans to stop fishing. >video, click to read< 08:35

Fishermen say they are removing Indigenous lobster traps in western Nova Scotia

Non-Indigenous fishermen say they are in the process of removing lobster traps set by fishermen from the Sipekne’katik First Nation in waters off western Nova Scotia. Colin Sproul, of the Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association, says a large number of boats are in St. Marys Bay and intend to remove the traps and take them to the wharf in Meteghan, N.S. Sproul says the fishermen are taking action on what they believe is an illegal out-of-season fishery because the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has refused to do so. But the Sipekne’katik First Nation says its people have a treaty right to fish at any time. ,, A clarification was issued by the court, which said the treaty right was subject to federal regulation. >click to read< 13:15

Yelling, cursing, but no physical confrontation – Lobster dispute between Indigenous and commercial fishers boils over again

Another contentious chapter in a very long dispute over Indigenous fishing rights and federal laws on conservation has begun. Thursday saw a handful of Indigenous lobster boats head out of southwestern Nova Scotia to lay traps using ‘licences’ handed out by a local Mi’kmaw chief and not from the federal Fisheries and Oceans Canada department (DFO). Commercial lobstermen in the area staged protests this week saying the Mi’kmaw are fishing out of season and illegally. The fishery is closed as it’s molting season when lobsters renew their shells, and mating season. They say the law closing the fishery for several months is necessary for conservation purposes and fishing at this time is not sustainable. >click to read< 10:11

Discontent arrives at federal fisheries minister’s doorstep

Roger LeBlanc, on Thursday sporting a Maritime Fisherman’s Union cap and a jacket bearing the name of Beausoleil the Third, his 50-foot lobster boat ,is used to rising early. So, it was nothing for him to leave Meteghan at 6:30 a.m. to make the two-hour drive to Bridgewater. He didn’t want to miss the big rally in front of the office of Bernadette Jordan,,, . There was a time when LeBlanc hoped his grandson, Joseph, who is eight, could follow in the family business. Now he’s not so sure. “I’m here today,” he told me, “because I don’t see a future in our fishery.” >click to read< 08:11

Peaceful Protest: Hundreds of fishermen protest outside Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jordan’s office – Several hundred fishermen protested Thursday in Bridgewater, N.S., outside the constituency office of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan, demanding her department stop out-of-season commercial lobster harvesting and sales commercial lobster harvesting and sales by First Nations in Nova Scotia. >click to read<

Peaceful Protest: Hundreds of fishermen protest outside Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jordan’s office

Several hundred fishermen protested Thursday in Bridgewater, N.S., outside the constituency office of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan, demanding her department stop out-of-season commercial lobster harvesting and sales commercial lobster harvesting and sales by First Nations in Nova Scotia. “We are tired of being ignored over and over again,” organizer Colin Sproul of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association told the crowd through a bullhorn from the back of a pickup truck. The protest is over what fishermen say is a blatant abuse of a First Nations communal lobster fishery underway in St. Marys Bay. >click to read< 17:06

Discontent arrives at federal fisheries minister’s doorstep – Roger LeBlanc, on Thursday sporting a Maritime Fisherman’s Union cap and a jacket bearing the name of Beausoleil the Third, his 50-foot lobster boat ,is used to rising early. He didn’t want to miss the big rally in front of the office of Bernadette Jordan,,, >click to read<

Fall lobster fishery now underway in Digby and rest of LFA 35 district

Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 35 opened at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 14 with the 93 full time and four part-time licence holders in the district heading to the fishing grounds in the upper Bay of Fundy. “When the season opens and the Digby fleet is coming through the gut,” looking from Delap’s Cove, “there’s a false sunset inside the Annapolis Basin,” said Colin Sproul, president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association. “There’s 60 or 70 boats coming out of there with four or five crabs’ lights each. You can see it right over the north mountains. It’s unbelievable. It’s like a sunset coming out of the basin at midnight.” >click to read< 18:40

Annapolis Royal mayor says tidal turbine shutdown won’t hurt town’s coffers

Last week the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans ordered NSP to shut down the iconic electrical power generating station after a review of data, especially in relation to reported fish kills over the past three decades. “From the very beginning the Town of Annapolis Royal has reached out to Fisheries and Oceans to get updates on where the review and the monitoring was,,, SHUT DOWN – He said what the community is learning is that a lot of those reports never found their way to the people who should have been taking that into consideration all these years. >click to read<20:06

Fishermen’s group grateful DFO lays charge stemming from lobster raid

A fishermen’s association is pleased to see the Department of Fisheries and Oceans lay a charge against the owner of lobster pound in southwest Nova Scotia who is accused of selling lobster caught under an Aboriginal communal fishing licence. Colin Sproul, vice-president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association, said he’s grateful DFO is taking action this summer. “Last summer, there were an incredible amount of lobsters poached in southwest Nova Scotia,” Sproul said on Thursday. “They weren’t First Nations people poaching these lobsters. They were just being poached by poachers under the guise of the FSC [food, social and ceremonial] and sold. >click to read<10:28

Job-related injuries create mounting danger for search and rescue workers

Submerged underwater more than 270 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland, Sgt. Damien Robison almost ran out of air. He was tethered to a helicopter hovering over a nearby fishing boat that was in distress. He was in the water to help save five sealers, but was hit by a 12-metre wave that drove him below the surface. Chunks of ice in the water whipped by as Robison tried to puzzle out how he and the sealers would survive. That happened on March 5, 2017, on what Robison considers a good day on the job. It was good because he, his crew and the sealers all got home safe. After that rescue, Robison said he was pretty banged up.  He’s not alone. >click to read<

N.S. Fishermen call on government officials to crack down on lobster poaching

Bernie Berry glances across the wharf in Digby, N.S., as several fishing boats stop alongside for crews to offload their catch. As the season for this lobster fishing area — one of the most lucrative in Canada — prepares to close on the last day of May, it’s bringing with it a flurry of activity. Berry and others here hope the hustle and bustle of fishing isn’t replaced with negative activity come June 1. “Everyone knows what’s going on,” he said. “This kind of stuff has been going on for years.” >click to read<

Nova Scotia Lobster Fishermen Fed Up with Mis-Communication By DFO

Lobster fishermen in Southwestern, Nova Scotia are frustrated and disappointed with the lack of direction, mis-communication, and overall support from Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) regional management. Five separate fishermen’s associations joined forces in 2017 to form the Southwest Lobster Science Society (SWLSS) to work towards a partnership-based approach to fisheries management and conservation; a move which was touted to be a historic partnership between industry, environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) and regulators. Yet, the newly formed partnership has struggled to move forward as the regulators (DFO) >click to read<11:34

Cape Sharp Tidal turbine removed from water – Fishermen, “For us, it’s a total vindication,,,”

The Cape Sharp Tidal turbine has been removed from the Minas Passage, but plans to conduct testing at another location farther down the Nova Scotia coast have been cancelled. The company had planned to move the turbine in April from near Parrsboro to St. Marys Bay to do some short-term hydrodynamic testing. But a mooring line became entangled in it, so the move was postponed. Cape Sharp spokesperson Stacey Pineau said the company now has no plans to resume the testing in St. Marys Bay. The proposed testing had drawn opposition from some fishermen, who said no environmental assessment had been carried out for that work.  Colin Sproul, of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association, said the removal of the turbine is “a positive development” because the company has not been able to monitor the equipment since the turbine was disconnected from the transmission cable two months ago. click here to read the story 18:52

Proposal to move Bay of Fundy tidal turbine raises fishermen’s concerns

A fishermen’s group in the Bay of Fundy is worried about Cape Sharp Tidal Venture’s plan to temporarily move its tidal turbine from a designated testing area to a site where an environmental assessment has not been carried out. The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association said the move endangers fish and violates the rules governing the development of tidal energy in the area.  The Cape Sharp Tidal Venture turbine is a joint project between Emera Inc. and OpenHydro. The turbine is currently in the Minas Passage near Parrsboro, N.S. Cape Sharp Tidal confirms that work is currently underway to remove the turbine. It wants to bring it to another area in the Bay of Fundy to do operational tests that would run about five days. “They have no approval to conduct that testing and more importantly is there will be no environmental-monitoring equipment at the site,” said Colin Sproul, spokesperson for the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association. click here to read the story 20:15

After months of outcry from fishermen, Cape Sharp Tidal prepares to deploy Bay of Fundy turbine

tidal turbinesAfter months of outcry from fishermen, a tidal power company has started preparations to deploy an energy-generating turbine in the Minas Basin near Parrsborro, N.S. The company has a week long window to install the turbine. On Saturday, Cape Sharp Tidal Ventures started launching the first of two planned turbines, intended to generate power from water passing through the Bay of Fundy inlet. The first was moved from Saint John to Parrsborro Friday night. By Saturday afternoon, the turbine was on its subsea base, and was waiting to be moved into the basin Passage by a barge and tugboat, the company said by email. It’s unclear when the installation will be finished, but the crews can only work on it during twice-daily slack tides. The project has been met with opposition led by the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association. The group believes the five-storey turbines will cause irreparable harm to marine life and fisheries.  “We’re extremely disappointed that the chance to get our accurate baseline science in the Minas Passage is forever lost in Nova Scotia,” association spokesman Colin Sproul said Saturday. Read the rest here 9:48

Bay of Fundy Fishermen taking Nova Scotia provincial government to court over the tidal industry

tidal turbinesThe Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association (BFIFA) filed a formal application July 25 asking the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to review and quash a decision by the provincial minister of Environment. In late June Margaret Miller approved the environmental effects monitoring program for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) and Cape Sharp Tidal Venture, effectively allowing the installation of two tidal turbines in the Minas Passage. Colin Sproul, fisherman and spokesperson with BFIFA, says the association is confident the court will recognize the same problems he sees with the minister’s decisions. “There is a wealth of information that was overlooked by the minister in making her decision,” said Sproul. “We are in a situation now where the province of Nova Scotia is involved in legal action against fishermen. Fishermen are on the side of conservation and the government is on the side of industry – this is a dangerous precedent for the environment of Nova Scotia.” Read the rest here 08:12