Tag Archives: Potlotek First Nation

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