Tag Archives: Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan

RCMP investigating gear slashing near Petit-de-Grat, Potlotek lobster traps seized for a ‘variety of reasons,’ says DFO

A dispute in a Cape Breton fishing community is being investigated by the Nova Scotia RCMP. Police described it as a case of “mischief,” and estimated the total financial loss for the traps and lobster is approximately $10,000. RCMP confirm there is no connection between this incident and reports of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans seizing traps from nearby Potlotek First Nation. >click to read< Potlotek Chief Wilbert Marshall   says federal government failing to accommodate treaty rights – A Mi’kmaw chief in Nova Scotia says a lobster fisherman whose traps were seized last week was fishing in accordance with his treaty rights. The seizure took place on April 30, the first day of the Potlotek First Nation’s spring lobster season. DFO said the removal of gear in St. Peters Bay was part of routine inspections to ensure the individual was compliant with the Fisheries Act. >click to read< 18:55

Sipekne’katik may seek United Nations peacekeepers for contentious N.S. fishery relaunch

The Sipekne’katik First Nation says it is considering asking the United Nations to send peacekeepers to police the self-regulated lobster fishery it plans to relaunch in southwestern Nova Scotia outside the commercial fishing season. On Thursday, Chief Mike Sack said Sipekne’katik fishermen will return to St. Marys Bay in June despite warnings in March from federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan that her department will enforce rules prohibiting commercial lobster fishing outside of commercial seasons. “We’re going to send a letter off to the United Nations and hoping that they can come and keep the peace. And it was very obvious to me that we couldn’t rely on the RCMP or DFO,” Sack said. >click to read< 08:44

Sipekne’katik giving back lobster licences to DFO, starting own fishery

Sipkne’katik First Nation will announce Thursday, the voluntary relinquishment and return of their commercial licences to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. At the same event, they will announce their plans for their own self-regulated moderate livelihood fishery and a joint study with Dalhousie University’s marine affairs program. The move sets them squarely at odds with Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, who in March issued a statement saying that DFO will work with First Nations to implement moderate livelihood fisheries this year but they must occur during established commercial seasons. >click to read< 17:16

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

Tension over stocks – 3Ps Cod fishery closure ‘not going to happen on my watch,’

Fish harvesters rallied in Clarenville on Wednesday, voicing their fears that the federal government may shut down the cod fishery along Newfoundland’s south coast, a move the local member of Parliament says he won’t support. Dozens of members from the Fish, Food & Allied Workers union protested on the doorstep of the office of Liberal MP for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, Churence Rogers, filling the parking lot with signs and the air with strong words about the fate of the fishing grounds 3Ps. Fish harvester Brian Careen said he’s spent most of his life fishing in the area, and told the crowd he feared it will be taken away by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. >click to read< 10:58

Feds announces $4.85M to buoy Nova Scotia’s struggling fish and seafood sector

The federal government has announced funding for a dozen projects in western Nova Scotia to buoy the province’s struggling fish and seafood processing sector. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan says the $4.85 million for 12 projects at 11 companies will help the sector retool and find new markets, positioning the industry for a strong post-pandemic recovery. She says the funding, part of the $62.5 million Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund announced by Ottawa last spring, is expected to create 60 jobs in rural communities across western Nova Scotia. >click to read< 13:36

Crown-Indigenous Relations should take the lead on the Nova Scotia lobster dispute, pointing to DFO’s lost credibility.

The Liberal government’s “new path” that has been broadly rejected by Atlantic First Nations is an “interim measure,” says Liberal MP Jaime Battiste, to address moderate livelihood fishing,,, Mr. Battiste (Sydney-Victoria, N.S.) is one of three Mi’kmaw Parliamentarians, who together offered solutions to the conflict that has persisted since September,,, For Mr. d’Entremont, part of the problem, though, is that the matter has become an Indigenous relations issue, because of the longstanding problem with DFO’s approach, and lack of enforcement. “We’ve gotten too far into Indigenous rights and what an agreement, or a treaty back in [1760] told us. It’s hard to apply it to today’s economy, in today’s fishing industry, and I don’t know how to fix that,” he said. Mr. d’Entremont acknowledged it’s a perspective that would make some “very mad.” “I recognize the right, but I understand the right can be regulated,” he said. >click to read< 18:00

Bernadette Jordan: Fisheries officers will enforce the rules. Moderate livelihood fisheries must take place within the commercial season

Anyone caught harvesting lobster outside the commercial fishing season this year will have to contend with fisheries officers, says federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan. The minister was referring to Mi’kmaw chiefs in Nova Scotia who have uniformly rejected the federal governments mandate that all moderate livelihood fisheries must take place within the commercial season. The Mi’kmaw chiefs say they intend to defy the federal government and fish out of season again this year. They say the federal mandate was imposed without adequate consultation or scientific justification. >click to read< 18:15

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

Feds say all fisheries must operate within the commercial season. Mike Sack says ‘not going to happen’

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said in a statement on Wednesday that Ottawa will not issue licenses to fisheries that operate outside the federal commercial season. Last fall, the Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia launched its own self regulated, rights based lobster fishery outside the federal fishing season, sparking a violent backlash from commercial fishers. Sack says the federal government has no right to impose its rules and regulations on the Mi’kmaw, and that Sipekne’katik’s fishery will be back this year — bigger and better than ever. >click to read< 07:51

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

Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief frustrated, ceases lobster fishery talks with feds

In a letter sent Wednesday to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack says the department has neither the “desire nor the ability” to recognize and implement the Mi’kmaq band’s constitutionally protected treaty right to fish. Sack expresses frustration with the nation-to-nation discussions and says Ottawa has tried to lump his band’s treaty rights in with regulation of commercial licenses. A spokesperson in the minister’s office was not immediately available for comment. >click to read< 14:31

Owner Operator/Fleet Separation Policies: Measures to prevent corporate takeover of Atlantic inshore fleets go into law

Wednesday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans published amended Atlantic Fishery regulations that include the so-called owner-operator and fleet-separation policies. The owner-operator policy requires the eligible holder of a fishing licence to be the beneficiary of the licence, and fleet separation prevents processing companies and buyers from also holding fishing licences. “It’s a great day for the inshore fishery and we’re super happy with the results of this announcement,” >click to read<14:16 To read more about this, >click here<

Minister Jordan strengthens protections for inshore commercial fish harvesters on East Coast – Under the authorities granted by the modernized Fisheries Act, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has amended the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985 and the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations to clarify the rules governing inshore licences and create new enforceable requirements. >click to read<

Replenishment, or Misguided Retribution?! Trouble brewing ahead of start to Nova Scotia fall lobster season

The recent seizure of lobster traps in St. Marys Bay by federal officials could lead to big trouble on the water. Chief Mike Sack of the Sipekne’katik First Nation says Indigenous fishers whose traps were taken last weekend and on Wednesday will replace them by taking the traps of commercial fishers when the fall season opens Monday in southwestern Nova Scotia, a huge event known as Dumping Day. “Dumping Day is going to be about 400,000 traps that our people get to pick from to replenish our traps,” Sack said in an interview, referring to the start of Canada’s largest and most lucrative lobster fishery. >video, click to read< 08:02

Tension could rise again on Monday in lobster dispute on east coast – The ongoing dispute between Indigenous and non-native lobster fishers could get tense once again. Last weekend, and on Wednesday, agents from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) seized hundreds of Indigenous lobster traps, ostensibly because the traps were set before the season opens on Monday.. >click to read<

Snow crab fishing rights: First Nations leaders say they’ll drop court action if government agrees to mediated settlement

The chiefs of Madawaska and Tobique First Nations say they have been seeking to exercise their treaty right to fish snow crab for 25 years, and point to volatile protests over lobster fishing as an example of the consequences of letting such disputes go unresolved. “Our Aboriginal right to engage in the fishery is not being recognized, the consequence of that is playing out before us in Nova Scotia,” Tobique Chief Ross Perley said in a news release Tuesday. >click to read< 12:04

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

Lobster crisis. Is anyone at the helm?

Clearly, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan doesn’t suffer from NIMBY syndrome (Not In My Backyard). How do we know? Because she’s allowed fisheries tensions to escalate,,, To be fair, the issue has simmered for decades. A 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision reaffirmed the treaty rights of Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaw communities to a moderate livelihood fishery. Tempers have flared occasionally over the years, and none of Jordan’s predecessors had the courage to create an industry where the moderate livelihood fishery happened without opposition from commercial fishers. The minister needs to show leadership before someone gets seriously hurt, or worse. >click to read< 12:19

Federal inaction drives lobster feud

A Coast Guard cutter and two helicopters (one RCMP, one DFO) provided little more than backdrop scenery to the boiling tensions on the Acadian shore Monday. Both the First Nations encamped behind a barricade at the Saulnierville Wharf and the predominantly Acadian local fishermen with their own roadblock at the Meteghan wharf 14 kilometres away called on the federal authorities to uphold the law. But whose law do they uphold? Successive federal fisheries ministers have kicked the issue down the election cycle by providing commercial licenses to First Nations bands without negotiating the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged right of individual Mi’kmaq to make a moderate livelihood off of natural resources. The vacuum left by their inaction is being filled with threats, flares and rubber bullets. >click to read< 10:29

Application deadline extended for fish harvester benefits program – will have until Oct. 5th

Fishers financially impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic have two extra weeks to apply for the federal government’s Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program. The original Sept. 21 deadline is now extended to 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 for self employed harvesters to submit their applications online. In a press release Sept. 18, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan encouraged anyone who thinks they may be eligible to visit the DFO website and learn how to apply. >click to read< 17:44

Nova Scotia: Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan asking sides to meet to de-escalate lobster fishing tensions

And late Friday afternoon the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs declared a state of emergency for mainland Nova Scotia because of what it calls political unrest and violence. Early Friday evening Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan issued a statement,, “Our Government’s first priority is to ensure everyone involved remains safe. In Canada, anyone can participate in peaceful protests and that process is fundamental to our democracy,” she said. “At this time, it is imperative that all parties, and the public work together to lower tensions on the water and in our communities, to foster understanding between one another,,, “To that end, I’m extending an invitation for Indigenous leadership and industry leadership to meet with me as soon as possible. >click to read< 15:13

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

Mi’kmaq planning their own moderate livelihood fishery outside DFO seasons

Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is downplaying plans by Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq to create their own moderate livelihood fishery, characterizing the move as part of ongoing negotiations to implement a 21-year-old Supreme Court ruling. “Right now we are working with the First Nations communities to determine what a moderate livelihood fishery looks like. We’re continuing to have those meetings with them,”,, The Trudeau government has managed to get moderate livelihood deals with three bands; one in Quebec and two in New Brunswick. >click to read< 10:55

Quiet seafood truck protest: DFO urged to crack down on illegal out of season lobster fishing

The owner of a seafood company that has trucks parked at the DFO detachment declined an interview and wouldn’t comment about the protest or who organized it. Asked why the trucks are there the company owner simply said, “DFO knows.” The trucks were first parked at the DFO detachment on Aug. 27, the same day hundreds of commercial lobster fishermen protested outside of federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s office in Bridgewater demanding DFO provide enforcement. As they have in previous summers, fishermen have been raising concerns over what they say is out-of-season commercial lobster harvesting taking place. They say commercial activity is happening under the guise of the First Nations fishery and accuse some fishers of abusing the intent of that fishery. photos, >click to read< 20:38

Time to reform DFO – Unable to protect wild fish while managing commercial fisheries and ocean-based aquaculture

Conservation and angling groups on the West Coast are calling for radical reform of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, saying it appears unable to protect wild fish while managing commercial fisheries and ocean-based aquaculture. The B.C. Wildlife Federation, in a letter to Fisheries Minister Bernadette  Jordan, says the federal department should be “independently reviewed and rebuilt” with a mandate to restore and recover failing salmon   populations. Many B.C. salmon runs are considered threatened or endangered, including most South Coast and Fraser River chinook, Interior Fraser coho, Fraser River sockeye and Interior steelhead. Some are down to just a few dozen individuals. >click to read< 10:38

B.C. fishermen say their industry needs a lifeline – What’s the problem?

“Everybody who has ever been a fisherman was drawn to it because of the freedom,” Erikson said. “The freedom to be your own boss, the freedom to be responsible to no one but yourself.” But money, freedom or even a viable living from the sea are in increasingly short supply on the B.C. coast, especially for young fishermen, said Jim McIsaac, vice-president of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters’ Federation. The number of people that can fish for a living is dropping because the cost of buying or leasing the Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs),, The problem, McIsaac said, is that on the West Coast of Canada, the ownership of fishing licences and ITQs are not limited to fishermen.,, The federal government’s response,,, >click to read< 08:40

8 more wild salmon restoration projects to receive funding in B.C.

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan addressed the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade on Tuesday, saying climate change and increasing demand for seafood products has put unprecedented pressure on Pacific wild salmon. The latest projects will receive about $10.5 million from the joint federal and provincial fund established in 2018 to help the recovery of stocks in steep decline.,,, “Speaking to British Columbians, I want to assure you that our government is moving ahead with the transition from open-net pens,” she said, adding Ottawa will develop a comprehensive process to ensure all voices are heard in the decision-making process. >click to read< 10:24

Coronavirus: Atlantic Canada’s fishing industry calls on feds for help

Crab and lobster fisheries throughout Atlantic Canada have faced delayed season openings due to fears about the coronavirus spreading in small communities and close working conditions. A significant drop in prices due to a collapse in retail and restaurant markets in the United States, Japan and China, major export markets for Canada’s seafood, overshadow the start of the season for many. Responding to a question during Tuesday’s virtual House of Commons meeting, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said support for the industry would be announced in the coming days, but by Thursday no additional details were available. >click to read< 09:09

Coronavirus: Fishermen block out-of-province crab shipments heading for N.L. fish plants

It’s the latest development in an argument with the Association for Seafood Producers over whether or not the fishery should be up and running during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW) says its members do not want to go to work on boats or in plants until their safety is assured. “Fish harvesters are mobilizing around the province to block out-of-province crab from landing in Newfoundland and Labrador for processing,” said a statement sent by the FFAW on Sunday night. “Harvesters and plant workers are calling on the provincial government to step in and for companies to respect N.L. workers.” >click to read< 07:40

Gulf of St. Lawrence Spring lobster season begins at 6 a.m. on May 15

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says this year’s spring lobster fishery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence will open May 15 and close on June 30. The decision released today delays the traditional April 30 start of the season by about two weeks. The new start date covers fishing areas 23, 24 and 26A and B along the northern coasts of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as well as a section of the Northumberland Strait. The season will begin at 6 a.m. on May 15 as long as weather conditions allow. >click to read< 07:34

Fish farm owners say most salmon that escaped due to fish farm fire likely eaten by sea lions-Critics want farms phased out

Mowi Canada West downplayed threats to wild salmon stocks because of the number of sea lions feeding on the 21,000 non-native salmon held in pens there, CoastAlaska reported Thursday. Mowi Canada West’s fish farm off Robertson Island, north of Vancouver Island, caught fire Dec. 20. The fire has prompted critics of the industry to call for an end to this kind of farm fishing on the west coast. Phasing out net-pen fish farming in B.C. waters was a Liberal campaign promise in this year’s federal election. >click to read< 13:51