Tag Archives: Potlotek First Nation

4 Mi’kmaw bands launch moderate livelihood fisheries with government approval

In a news release Wednesday, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs said the treaty fisheries will happen in the Acadia, Annapolis Valley, Bear River and Glooscap First Nations. The group said the Kespukwitk District Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plan will start Thursday, though not all communities will launch then. The Mi’kmaw chiefs said they are following the path set out by the Potlotek First Nation to fish and co-operate with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.,, The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance, which represents commercial fishers, said its members support the deal. “We believe this is an important step in the right direction,,,” >click to read< 19:31

Potlotek chief says lobster traps were seized on first day of fall fishery

A spokesperson from the department of fisheries and oceans confirmed fisheries officers seized 216 traps in St. Peter’s Bay between Wednesday and Thursday for a variety of reasons, including improper tagging and unauthorized tags, adding an investigation is ongoing and no further details will be provided at this time. “It’s like playing the lottery, You put (the traps) out and then you go out to check if you won or you lost. You don’t know if all your gear will be gone when you go out, and I’m just getting sick and tired of it,” he said. This is Cremo’s first season fishing and he said he loves it. He gives half of his catch away to community members and sells the other half to cover his costs. >click to read< 11:56

Commercial Lobster Industry to be heard at Potlotek First Nation challenge to the Fisheries Act

The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia granted the United Fisheries Conservation Alliance application for intervenor status in the court case brought by the small Cape Breton first nation against the Attorney General of Canada. Potlotek is seeking to have the court prevent Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) from enforcing Fisheries Act regulations on its members, which it claims are an infringement on its treaty right to make a moderate livelihood off marine resources.,, Potlotek opposed allowing representatives of the commercial industry to intervene,,, The Supreme Court found that the group representing commercial fishermen should be allowed to be heard. >click to read< 07:50

Nova Scotia fishing industry granted intervenor status in Mi’kmaw treaty rights case

The ruling Friday afternoon by Supreme Court Justice John Keith gives the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance standing in a proceeding against the Canadian government by the Potlotek First Nation. The Cape Breton band is seeking an injunction to prevent the Department of Fisheries and Oceans from interfering with its self-regulated moderate livelihood lobster fishery. It wants a court declaration that enforcement of the federal Fisheries Act infringes on its treaty right to earn a moderate living from fishing. In an oral decision, Keith said UFCA’s intervention would not unduly delay, prejudice or politicize Potlotek’s case. He said as a group representing fishers using the same shared and finite resource, UFCA has a direct interest in the case. >click to read< 17:45

Potlotek First Nation seeking injunction to prevent DFO from interfering with self-regulated fishery

Nova Scotia commercial fishermen will find out Friday whether they can intervene in a court case that tests the federal government’s authority to regulate a Mi’kmaw lobster fishery. The Potlotek First Nation is seeking an injunction to prevent the DFO from interfering with its self-regulated moderate livelihood lobster fishery. The Cape Breton band wants a court declaration that enforcement of the federal Fisheries Act infringes on its treaty right to earn a moderate living from fishing. Justice John Keith said he will issue a decision Friday afternoon. Colin Sproul, a spokesperson for the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance, “All I can say is that we’re really happy to have the opportunity to share our perspectives with the court, but I can’t really comment much more than that while there are the issues before the court,”  >click to read< 22:40

New agreement between Potlotek and DFO off to rocky start

Craig Doucette had a lukewarm reaction to his first weekend fishing under a new arrangement,,, The experienced lobster fisher from Potlotek First Nation said fisheries officers followed him closely on Saturday morning as he set his 20 traps for the day. “They’ve never come after me like that before. They’ve never followed my boat, they always wait till I leave,,, On Sunday morning, Doucette took in his catch and said none of his traps had been seized. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs each issued a statement on Friday saying the two sides had come to an understanding >click to read< 21:42

Minister Jordan issues statement on cooperative path forward with Potlotek First Nation moderate livelihood fishery

“I am pleased to announce today that we have reached an understanding that will see Potlotek First Nation fishing for a moderate livelihood and selling their catch starting Saturday, June 5, 2021.” As an interim measure, we will be recognizing those harvesters designated under Potlotek’s plan to be authorized to fish 700 jakej (lobster) traps without adding additional access and during the established season underway in Lobster Fishing Areas 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31a – which is within the Unama’ki region and aligns with Potlotek’s identified traditional district. The Unama’ki region is one of the seven Mi’kmaq districts in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, and spans Cape Breton Island. >click to read< 14:19

Potlotek First Nation seeks injunction against DFO over self-regulated fishery

A number of First Nations communities in the province, including Potlotek, launched their own self-regulated lobster fisheries last year to mark the 21st anniversary of the historic Supreme Court of Canada decision that affirmed Mi’kmaw rights to fish for a moderate livelihood. Many commercial fishermen have opposed the fisheries operating outside commercial seasons. In March, federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said Ottawa will not licence any treaty-based fishery in Atlantic Canada unless it operates within the commercial season. >click to read< 10:15

Nova Scotia lobster dispute. New year, new dispute

A Supreme Court ruling noted that Indigenous peoples have an inherent right to hunt and fish to earn a “moderate living” although what that phrase meant was never determined. In Nova Scotia, Indigenous groups have said the ruling means they can fish whenever they want. Commercial fishers say the established limited seasons must be respected for conservation reasons and are angered at the out of season fishing by Indigenous groups. Often not mentioned is the addition to the Supreme Court ruling which noted that the Indigenous rights were not absolute and limitations could be made for conservation needs and other limited “compelling and substantial public objectives”. >click to read< 07:38

Mi’kmaq community angered at alleged government seizure of lobster traps

Federal fisheries officers seized 37 lobster traps that were set today by an Indigenous harvester. The Potlotek First Nation, located about 75 kilometres south of Sydney, N.S., issued a news release indicating the community had authorized the traps as part of its livelihood fishery.,, Earlier this year, federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan had said if bands haven’t negotiated agreements with Ottawa and received federal licences for moderate livelihood fisheries, then the government would enforce regulations. >click to read< 19:14

Cape Breton First Nation’s plan for early fishing forced hand on new regulations

A spokesperson for DFO says the department was preparing the new regulations for the early May start to the commercial lobster fishing season, but was rushed into action by Potlotek First Nation’s plan to start fishing in mid-March. “We can’t have what happened last year in St. Peter’s Bay, where there was a fishery plan for combined Eskasoni and Potlotek for about 1,000 traps and we saw almost three times that in the water. We can’t have that again, it’s not sustainable,” said DFO spokesperson Jane Deeks. Chief Wilbert Marshall strongly denies that claim. In her statement, Jordan cites Marshall II, the amendment made to the Supreme Court Marshall decision that allows for treaty rights to be regulated on the grounds of conservation. >click to read< 18:42

Mi’kmaw lobster harvester will fight Canada’s reconciliation ‘death certificate’ after being charged by DFO

“I feel like I’m doing nothing wrong, and here I am. I have to go to court. I’m being treated like a criminal. It’s belittling. Craig Doucette stands accused on two counts of fishing lobster without authorization. He’s also accused of fishing lobster during a closed time, violating the Atlantic Fishery Regulations of the Fisheries Act. Doucette doesn’t dispute that he was fishing. But he contends what he did wasn’t illegal based on Peace and Friendship Treaties from the 18th century. “One-hundred-and-ten per cent: I’m not guilty,” he said. >click to read< 07:25

Federal fisheries minister concerned about size of Mi’kmaq fishery in Cape Breton bay

Bernadette Jordan said Friday that while the government recognizes the Mi’kmaq treaty right to fish, the scale of the lobster harvest in the bay is exceeding proposals made by Indigenous fishers. “While lobster stocks are generally healthy, monitoring has recently indicated that fishing activities have significantly increased in St. Peters Bay,” the minister said in a statement. >click to read< 09:32

N.S. Seafood Alliance declares opposition to out-of-season moderate livelihood fishery – The Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance said it supports the treaty right, but it must be subordinate to limits set and policed by the government of Canada. >click to read<

Potlotek moderate livelihood lobster fishery is peaceful, but tensions aren’t far from surface

Potlotek First Nation launched the fishery under its own management plan in St. Peters Bay on Oct 1. Local non-Indigenous fishers have not interfered, but that doesn’t mean they support it. “Commercial fishermen and Aboriginal fishermen have worked side by side, and co-operatively,” he said. “That’s breaking apart right now.” For their part, the Mi’kmaq say they are tired of waiting for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to work with them to define what constitutes a moderate livelihood. >click to read< 08:32

Potlotek First Nation celebrates Treaty Day by launching its own rights-based lobster fishery

Potlotek First Nation in Cape Breton marked Treaty Day this year by launching its own Mi’kmaq-regulated rights-based lobster fishery. The celebration in St. Peters Bay on Thursday drew about 100 people and comes just two weeks after another Mi’kmaw community began operating a similar fishery in southwest Nova Scotia. Wilbert Marshall, chief of Potlotek, said launching a fishery on Treaty Day underscores the importance of the Peace and Friendship Treaties that were signed many years ago and still matter today.  >click to read< 19:05

Mi’kmaw parliamentarians call for new body to deal with conflict over lobster fishery – Three Mi’kmaw parliamentarians are proposing a new approach to the conflict over the lobster fishery in Atlantic Canada that would bypass the system in use at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. >click to read<

Sipekne’katik First Nation issuing own lobster licences

After a blessing of its fleet on Thursday morning, the Sipekne’katik First Nation will issue lobster fishing licences at the Saulnierville wharf. On Tuesday, the Potlotek First Nation in Cape Breton sent its plan to begin a rights-based moderate livelihood lobster fishery on Oct. 1 to federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan. They weren’t asking her permission, but rather for her to consult them on what they intend to do. “We’re tired of waiting and we’re tired of being poor,” Potlotek chief Wilbert Marshall said on Wednesday. >click to read< 08:26