Tag Archives: fishing rights

Removing DFO from Indigenous fishery negotiations an ‘integral’ step forward

Chief Mike Sack of the Sipekne’katik First Nation said the report, titled Peace on the Water, validates what he and his band have been saying about their right to fish since they launched a moderate livelihood fishery two years ago. The report calls for negotiations involving the Indigenous fishery to be handled by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, which Sack described as “the most integral” of the committee’s recommendations. “The treaty fishery model we presented over two years ago now is reinforced by each recommendation from the Senate,” Sack said in a statement. >click to read< 13:52

Pictou Landing reports peaceful season of moderate livelihood lobster fishery

Generations of Craig Francis’s family have fished the waters between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, so being a part of Pictou Landing First Nation’s moderate livelihood fishery is a big deal for him. “It’s nice to have our rights recognized,” he said. “We were given these inherent rights, so to go out and do that on our own and have support with DFO and local fishermen is pretty good.” Francis is one of the community members designated by the First Nation to fish lobster under the plan. It’s the community’s first moderate livelihood plan with an understanding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. >click to read< 06:57

Troubled Waters – British Fishermen and Brexit

More than two years after Brexit, British fishermen are angry. They were promised more control over fishing rights in British waters, but what they’ve gotten is reduced income. Many of them voted Leave, but now they feel they’ve been let down. The fishing industry overwhelmingly supported Brexit. Darren Kenyon is a fisherman from Grimsby in North East England. He believed in the government’s Brexit promises – including more control over fishing rights in British waters — and voted Leave. But two and a half years after Brexit, he feels betrayed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Kenyon’s income is lower than it used to be and there’s more red tape than ever. >click to read< 12:10

Reallocation: Fed changes to BC crab fishery could bankrupt some commercial fishermen

Commercial crab fishermen in British Columbia fear that changes to the way they can fish for Dungeness crab off the west coast of Vancouver Island could push some small, family operations out of business. This year however, crab fishermen like Jason Voong, 33, may not be able to harvest enough crabs to stay in business following changes announced by the federal government in December to reallocate half of the licenses available in the area to local First Nations.  “I fully support, and the fishers support reconciliation, it’s just a process that’s wrong right now the way DFO has treated the commercial fleet and the five nations.” >click to read< 09:41

Mi’kmaw negotiator advocates for reduction in commercial catches to bolster treaty fishery

A top Mi’kmaw negotiator insisted commercial catches should be reduced anyway to ensure the treaty right is realized, while the president of a commercial fishermen’s association responded that enough has been done and the failure rests with Ottawa and First Nation leaders. “You heard from the chiefs, the buy-back program hasn’t been successful. So maybe at this point, Canada and DFO have to be more aggressive in taking back access for the Mi’kmaw people and Indigenous people,” Janice Maloney told the committee. Colin Sproul, president of the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliances, challenged the demand. Sproul represents 1,900 commercial fishermen. “It’s clearly unfair and un-Canadian to repossess access to the fishery from coastal communities without any consultation or compensation,” Sproul said. >click to read< 17:31

As lobster population booms off Canada, tensions rise between Indigenous and commercial fishermen

Under the close watch of federal officers on surrounding patrol vessels, Robert Sack navigated his old boat toward his clandestine traps in the cold waters that his people have fished for centuries, expecting to be arrested at any moment.,, Each trap had a special tag belonging to their band of the Indigenous Mi’kmaw people, who insist that a 269-year-old treaty grants them the right to fish when and how they want. But the government has rejected their assertion, and officers have seized their traps, confiscated their boats, and even arrested some of their fishermen. >click to read< 07>14

UFCA Granted Intervenor Status In Sipekne’katik Court Case

The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance has been granted intervenor status in another court case involving indigenous fisheries. They will be part of the Notice of Application brought by the Sipekne’katik First Nation against the Attorney General of Canada to challenge the regulation and enforcement of Indigenous fishing activities. UFCA President Colin Sproul discusses why it’s important for them to be involved. >click to read< 09:12

Danish Fisheries Hit by Crisis in Aftermath of Brexit

Shoals of fishing boats are on sale in Denmark, which is seen as sign of crisis within an industry that is still reeling from Brexit. The latter has led to reduced fishing quotas for non-British vessels in UK waters.,, Fisherman Asger Christiansen said it is no longer worth it to sail out and trawl fish. He described Brexit, which redistributed fishing rights, as the “last drop that made the glass overflow”. All North Sea fishermen were lumped together in the Brexit deal, leading to a situation where a one-man boat that fished locally lost the same share as large vessels that fished 90 percent of their catch in British waters. >click to read< 11:52

Extortion: France will reduce Jersey electricity supply this winter, unless fishermen granted licences for British waters

Speaking on Friday, outspoken French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said his government would hold firm against Britain and continue to demand more fishing licences. The European minister said that France may be forced to cut electricity, although not totally, to the Channel Island of Jersey, a self-governing dependency of the United Kingdom, during the winter as part of a “targeted” retaliation in the fishing dispute. >click to read< 07:39

Normandy and Brittany Fishermen to protest Saturday

Fishermen from Normandy and Brittany are due to stage a protest at the French end of one of the undersea cables that supplies Jersey with electricity on Saturday. The demonstration is due to take place on the beach at Pirou, a few miles south of Portbail, ahead of the 30 September deadline for fishermen to submit data required to operate in Jersey waters beyond the end of this month. Earlier this year, French Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin, threatened that France could cut off Jersey’s connection with the French grid over the row on fishing rights. >click to read< 13:53

Michael Gove’s startling Brexit admission: ‘EU will continue to have access to UK waters

Despite Downing Street calling a “mutual compromise”, it does seem Prime Minister Boris Johnson capitulated on one of the most contentious areas of Brexit trade talks: fishing rights. The UK wanted any fishing agreement to be separate from the trade deal with access negotiated annually in a similar fashion to Norway’s agreement with the bloc. Norway is an independent coastal state, with the rights and responsibilities under international law associated with that status. Stocks shared with the EU are managed through annual bilateral negotiations. Each autumn these talks set total allowable catches on the basis of scientific advice. This contrasts starkly with the position of the UK fishing industry within the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, something the EU wanted to maintain at all costs. >click to read< 08:14

The Mi’kmaq fishing dispute: What the treaties said and how the wording could affect a future fishery

“We have a treaty right,” said Chief Mike Sack, wearing a hat emblazoned with Honour Treaties, when asked why the band had renamed their effort from the “moderate livelihood” fishery they launched last fall. The latter term was coined by the Supreme Court of Canada in its 1999 Marshall decision. But the decision that acknowledged a moderate livelihood treaty right also stated the authority to regulate, after consultation with First Nations, is held by the federal fisheries minister. With Sipekne’katik fishers setting traps under a self-regulated treaty fishery and federal officers hauling them and arresting Chief Sack for questioning on suspicion of inciting an illegal fishery, the question is raised: what do the treaties say? >click to read< 10:21

Ireland’s fishermen and farmers fight the Brexit fallout

Ireland’s fishermen and farmers took to Dublin to protest what they feel are unfair regulations. They are not happy with the Irish government either, which they say is failing to stand up for them. The issues involved for our fishermen and farmers are different, of course, but they go back to the same roots, as we will explain in a moment. First the fishermen. In the middle of last week, a huge flotilla of fishing boats sailed up the Liffey,,, It was the most picturesque protest we have seen here in a long time. >click to read< 18:12

Mi’kmaw harvester wants lobsters seized by DFO accounted for

A Mi’kmaw lobster harvester wants to know what happened to his lobster after finally getting his fishing gear back from DFO,,, The gear had been sitting in a federal fisheries compound since then, and Matt Cope of Millbrook First Nation spent months trying to get it back. When Cope unloaded his gear this week, he was shocked to find damaged traps with ropes cut. “Traps aren’t cheap, ropes not cheap,” he said. “When they’re taking it for months at a time, and just all of a sudden giving it back when it’s all damaged, there’s no way we can fish like that.” >click to read< 08:50

Jaime Battiste: Balancing conservation and fairness in a ‘moderate livelihood’ for Indigenous fishermen

What is fair to the Mi’kmaq, who have been deprived of their legal right to a practice passed down for generations? What is fair to the commercial fishermen, many of whom today are of Mi’kmaq descent, who depend on the fishery and healthy stocks for their own livelihoods? There is no easy answer. The report addresses two misconceptions that have added fuel to this fire.,,, As someone who is fluent in the Mi’kmaw language, the Mi’kmaw language has no way to describe “an individual unfettered right, to accumulate wealth.” In fact, the closest would be a pejorative term that’s closer to greed. Much like the how the government’s right to regulate has limits, the right to a moderate livelihood also has its limits and responsibilities. >click to read< 09:42

CRASH, BANG, SCALLOP! – Warships off the coast! French trawler rams UK boat as Jersey fishing stand-off escalates

Britain and France have both dispatched warships to the Channel island of Jersey Thursday amid concerns of a possible blockade of the island by French boats, a dramatic escalation in a row over rights to fish in the waters post-Brexit. >click to read<French trawler rams UK boat – The British ship owned by Jonathan Ruff was hit by the French vessel Lasgot as he went out to sea as a blockade of French boats arrived near St Helier marina. Fisherman Josh Dearing described the appearance of the French boats, some letting off flares, as “like an invasion” and he welcomed the presence of Royal Navy ships in the region. video, photos, >click to read<  CRASH, BANG, SCALLOPS – Jonathan Ruff’s boat was bashed in the stern by the French vessel Lasgot as he bravely went out to sea to face the group of 100 “invaders”. Video, photos, >click to read<   09:04

Listuguj, Ottawa agree to collaborate on regulations, opens door for moderative livelihood fishery

Listuguj First Nation, the Mi’kmaw community in Quebec just across the river from Campbellton, N.B., has agreed to a five-year rights reconciliation agreement with the Minister of Fisheries and the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. It could open the door for additional fisheries access through licences and modified quotas, including the possible establishment of a moderate livelihood fishery. Listuguj Chief Darcy Gray said the framework is a “huge step forward” after holding talks with the federal government over the past 4½ years. The deal aims to improve relations between the government and the First Nation, and includes a commitment to upholding the treaty right to harvest and sell fish in pursuit of a livelihood. >click to read< 18:31

Inland Fisheries: A big fight in Lansing over fishing rules on the Great Lakes

Dana Serafin still hauls in 20,000-pound boatloads of whitefish to supply regional restaurants and markets, Native whitefish, the main livelihood for Serafin and other Great Lakes commercial fishermen, have been in decline for years amid changes to the food web, replaced in Serafin’s nets by healthier populations of walleye and lake trout that he’s not allowed to keep. Chinook salmon, once a favorite of recreational anglers on lakes Michigan and Huron, have also plummeted in Lake Michigan, and all but disappeared from Lake Huron. Battles are brewing over fishing rights from recreational, commercial, Native American, and environmental group meddling. Video, >click to read< 13:41

Indigenous fishermen to assert treaty right for lobster fishing during court case

The stage is now set in Nova Scotia for another round in the court battles over Indigenous fishing rights. The lawyer for four Mi’kmaw fishermen appeared by phone Tuesday in Yarmouth provincial court. The men admit they were fishing for lobster aboard the vessel Charlene Helen off Pinkney’s Point, Yarmouth County, in September 2019. The area they were fishing in is part of Lobster Fishing Area 34, which was closed to fishing activity at the time. >click to read< 08:56

Canadian government likely has not met constitutional obligations to First Nations

The precedent set by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Marshall cases recognizes the First Nations’ right to fish under the Peace and Friendship Treaties but also allows for limitations by the government for the purpose of conservation. The Badger decision set out the parameters for applying those limitations and puts the onus on the federal government to show that the infringement of treaty rights is justified, and to consult with First Nations to find a solution that puts the minimum restrictions on Indigenous rights. The 13 Nova Scotia First Nations chiefs have unanimously rejected Jordan’s plan for a number of reasons, a major one being a lack of consultation. >click to read< 11:45

P.E.I. Mi’kmaw chiefs denounce DFO’s ‘moderate livelihood’ fishery plan

A news release from P.E.I.’s Mi’kmaw chiefs Thursday called the plan “both unlawful and disrespectful.” “DFO’s continued paternalistic approach to our rights-based fishery goes against the very spirit of reconciliation,” Abegweit First Nation Chief Junior Gould said in the release. Lennox Island First Nation Chief Darlene Bernard said she was “blindsided” by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s announcement, especially since she had taken part in a roundtable discussion with Jordan Wednesday during which they talked about the moderate livelihood fishery. >click to read< 09:36

DFO Path Forward Rejected – ‘We’re going to establish our own fishery’

“We’re going to establish our own fishery and our seasons outside of theirs,” Chief Mike Sack said Wednesday. “We’ll push our own season and determine what those months are going to be.” Sack was responding to a letter from Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan that said any moderate livelihood fishery must operate under the rules and regulations of DFO’s commercial fishery. Then the letter spells out the rules under which any moderate livelihood fishery would be negotiated and what Canada is “prepared” to allow,,, Sack said none of that was acceptable. >click to read< 07:17

Oysterman’s thread is a must read – ‘Brexit deal is almost the same as a no deal’

The introduction of new checks and paperwork since the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31 has caused disruption to exports of fresh fish and seafood to the EU. But a thread from Tom Haward, an eighth generation oysterman, is damning about how Brexit has crippled his business and the industry in general. He lays the blame on the UK Government for the situation he finds himself in. 1. “A number of people are suggesting myself and others in the shellfish industry have been lazy, stupid (or both) for not being ‘prepared’ for the carnage Brexit has caused on the shellfish export industry. If we predicted this, why weren’t we ready? >click to read< 11:47

Judge Drops Shinnecock Fishermen’s Federal Lawsuit

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by three Shinnecock Indian Nation fishermen who have fought to protect their indigenous fishing rights in eastern Long Island. David Taobi Silva, Jonathan Smith and Gerrod Smith were seeking $102 million in punitive damages, as well as temporary and permanent injunctions to end what they call racial discriminatory practices by state and local law enforcement. “[The men had] not put forward sufficient evidence to establish that the state proceeding is motivated by a desire to harass or is conducted in bad faith,” U.S. District Court Judge Sandra Feurestein said in her ruling. >click to read< 15:02

Canada: History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any precedents around the core issues and if prior instances can help guide us now. The case of the Saugeen Ojibway of the Great Lakes provides some particularly useful insights to help reach a settlement to the lobster fisheries dispute. Conflict between Indigenous peoples along the Great Lakes and the state has been around since the rise of non-Indigenous commercial and sport fishing around the 1830s and 1840s. In the 1990s, things came to a head,,, >click to read< 08:29

The World’s Supply of Mackerel Is on the Move

The Northeast Atlantic mackerel is a small fish with grey or greenish-blue scales and tigerlike black stripes from mouth to tail. Lacking a swim bladder, the gas-filled organ that helps most fish move up and down in the water, the mackerel would sink and die if it ever stopped. So it is always on the move, looking for plankton, crustaceans, and other small fish.  In recent years, the mackerel’s unceasing motion and radically increased abundance have taken it farther north, to Greenland or Svalbard, which lies between Norway and the North Pole, and northwest, to Icelandic waters. And when the fish turned up, the Icelanders took advantage. By tradition, their nation had no claim to this fish, but starting in the mid-2000s, when the lucrative fish arrived in great numbers, they struck. >click to read< 11:09

Cork TD criticizes ‘shocking’ Brexit deal as value of fishing rights loss revised

A new study of the fishing rights subject to Britain’s trade deal with the European Union (EU) published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has contradicted the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue. When the Brexit trade deal was announced on Christmas Eve, Mr McConalogue said the fishing rights going to UK fishermen would cost €35m per year. However,,, Independent TD Michael Collins has said this agreement is not fair and described the Brexit trade deal as a “shocking deal” for Irish fishermen. “[French] President Macron has come out and was one of the first to praise the deal of course for his own fishermen but sadly it was a shocking deal for Irish fishermen. >click to read< 16:02

Livelihood lobster fishing cast adrift: How DFO’s inaction has history repeating itself

Its resources are in high demand by Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers alike, and for more than 20 years it has seen tensions between the two communities turn from boil to simmer, to boil again. Recently, it made headlines internationally. Tensions in the area erupted into violence and destruction after the Sipekne’katik First Nation launched its own, self-regulated fishery, outside of the commercial season, based on Mi’kmaq treaty rights. To Alex McDonald, one of the oldest still-fishing Indigenous lobster boat captains of the area, the chaos this year was nothing new. >click to read< 08:14

Brexit: What does the trade deal mean for fisheries? All the Fish related bits in the Brexit deal to read at your leisure: Articles 1-19

Contrary to many dire predictions, we finally have a Brexit trade deal, and with it an agreement on how the UK and EU will manage shared fisheries into the future. The fishing industry has experienced an unusually high profile since the Brexit referendum, but this reached dizzy heights over the last few months of 2020, as disagreements over fishing quotas and access were said to be the final barrier to a wider agreement. So now that the deal has been landed, how does the catch measure up? >click to read<  All the Fish related bits in the Brexit deal to read at your leisure: Articles 1-19. – Article FISH.1: Sovereign rights of coastal States exercised by the Parties. The Parties affirm that sovereign rights of coastal States exercised by the Parties for the purpose of exploring, exploiting,,, >click to read< 08:40

Brexit fishing outrage – UK Fishing Industry Disappointed By Brexit Deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier on Thursday that Britain had agreed a “reasonable” five-and-half-year transition period with the EU over fisheries, longer than the three years it wanted but shorter than the 14 years the EU had originally asked for. “The industry will be bitterly disappointed that there is not more of definitive break,” Barrie Deas, NFFO, >click to read< 09:40

Brexit fishing outrage as UK will never be FULLY in control of its waters like Norway – Britain will never be fully in control of its waters like Norway, not even after the transition period agreed in the Brexit trade deal, it has emerged. Despite Downing Street calling a “mutual compromise”, it does seem Mr Johnson capitulated on one of the most contentious areas of the talks: fishing rights. >click to read<