Tag Archives: fishing rights

Brexit fury as fears grow Keir Starmer will give EU fishing boats access to UK waters

The European Union will demand access to Britain’s fishing waters in return for Sir Keir Starmer’s reset in UK-EU relations, according to reports. The Prime Minister said he wants a “better deal” and spoke of resetting the UK’s relationship with Europe at the end of a European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, on Thursday (July 18). Brussels bureaucrats are reportedly preparing a list of “offensive interests” the bloc will deploy in future talks with London, according to the Daily Telegraph. Reports the EU would seek access to British fishing waters sparked outrage on social media, with Richard Tice MP, Deputy Leader of Reform UK, tweeting: “NO NO NO. We want our fishing waters back, not giving more away.” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 12:21

Sipekne’katik First Nation granted a temporary adjournment to allow for mediation with the Crown

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has granted a joint request from the Sipekne’katik First Nation and the Attorney General of Canada to adjourn trial dates that would have aimed to settle treaty fishing rights disputes. The court has decided to give the involved parties until December 12, 2024, to have a defined and active mediation process in place, if not, proceeding with litigation would be re-examined. The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFCA), which represents the interests of its members who are commercial fishers in the Gulf and Maritimes regions, asserts that the courts must finally decide the scope of Marshall rights for Indigenous Peoples.   “The fact that the Sipekne’katik First Nation is attempting to settle treaty fishing rights issues outside of court is a historic precedent considering the court system has been at the center of Indigenous claims to the fishery and rights in particular for decades,” said Colin Sproul, President of the UFCA. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 15:25

New documentary reveals Scottish Government believe Rockall dispute over fishing rights could be resolved

The sovereignty of the rock has been the source of a long running dispute between Ireland and the UK. The UK authorities claim Rockall is part of its territory lying within its territorial seas – a claim not recognized by Ireland. Ireland has not claimed ownership of the rock and does not recognise the British claim of sovereignty on the basis that uninhabited rocks should not be claimed by any state. The British Navy annexed Rockall in 1955 – hoisting the Union flag and cementing a brass plaque on the summit. It later sought to incorporate it into part of UK law in 1972. Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:12

How the Boldt decision 50 years ago remade Pacific Northwest fishing

Louie Ungaro waited out the turn of the tide, when chum salmon — he hoped — would hit his net. Fishing here is his tradition, a practice and a way of life as old as his people, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.“Elliott Bay ain’t going nowhere, and neither are we,” said Ungaro, a member of the tribe’s council and lifelong hunter and fisher. Yet it took violent protests and a decision appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm their right to fish, explicitly stated in treaties signed by their ancestors nearly 170 years ago as settlers colonized the Pacific Northwest. The decision handed down by U.S. District Court Judge George Boldt 50 years ago next month was the result of sacrifices made by Native fishers and their families jailed and beaten while defending these rights. And yet now another threat looms over all they fought for: scarcity of the fish themselves. Photos, more, >>click to read< 08:53

Soo Tribe says it will appeal Great Lakes commercial fishing deal

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians says it will appeal an agreement struck between four other tribes, federal regulators and state of Michigan to govern Great Lakes commercial and sport fishing. The tribe said Monday, Oct. 9 that it would appeal the agreement, which was approved by a federal judge on Aug. 24, with the U.S. Sixth Circuit court of appeals by Oct. 23. The tribe did not join the agreement, which was reached in December between the state and federal governments, and the Bay Mills Indian Community, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa, the Little River Band of Ottawa and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa. The agreement divvies up fishing rights in parts of lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior; extending until 2047 a longstanding regulatory framework which has been under negotiation since it expired in 2020. The deal covers Great Lakes that fall within Michigan waters in which the tribes reserve fishing rights per the 1836 Treaty of Washington. >>click to read<< 18:29

Fishermen gather in D.C. to press Congress for ‘catch share’ changes

fishermen from each corner of the country descended on the nations capital last week banding together to confront what they describe as a predatory regulatory system that treats fishing rights “like stocks on Wall Street.”  The group of more than a dozen fishermen make up a loose organization known as the Catch Share Reform Coalition. They presented a proposal to several U.S. senators, members of Congress and the head of NOAA Fisheries to rework regulations that they say have enabled investors to amass large amounts of fishing permits, cornering parts of the industry at the expense of local fishermen.  Members of the group each fish out of different ports, using different types of gear and fishing for different species. But they said they are all united in their goal to keep fishing rights in the hands of local fishermen.  >click to read< 07:06

Unanimous N.C. Appeals Court Rules State Can Be Sued for Failing to Protect Fishing Rights

The decision could eventually lead to new restrictions on commercial fishing. The Appeals Court agreed to affirm a trial judge’s ruling in the case, Coastal Conservation Association v. State of N.C. The trial court had rejected the state’s attempt to have the case thrown out because of sovereign immunity. “Plaintiffs alleged the State breached this constitutional duty by ‘mismanaging North Carolina’s coastal fisheries resources.’ Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged the State has mismanaged the fisheries by ‘permitting, sanctioning, and even protecting two methods of harvesting coastal finfish and shrimp in State public waters’ — shrimp trawling and ‘unattended’ gillnetting,,, >click to read< 12:49

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