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 We consider the First Nations fishermen as brothers. Commercial fishing is the lifeblood of everybody here, including the First Nations. We expect the province to be doing what they say they’re doing, which is regulating the buyers.

GRAEME GAWN, SPOKESMAN FOR MARITIME FISHERMEN’S UNION LOCAL 9⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙⊙

WASTED LOBSTER     DUMPING ON ROADSIDE    TONS OF IT

At least the fox,bear,and feathered world will enjoy a feast paid for by the Canadian taxpayers. Kudos 

 

Lame up


The three known dumps on Briggs Road, in Weymouth, which sit side by side.

Lobster carcasses have been found in several locations around Weymouth, including three known piles on Briggs Road, over fifteen on Lombard Road, and around 30 piles along Weymouth River’s west side.
The land along both Briggs and Lombard roads has belonged Digby County resident Ben Robicheau and his family for over 50 years. He heard the night of September 14 that dumps had happened on the land.

While dumping of litter and trash is common, Robicheau says, “we’ve never seen any lobster dumped here before.”

Most of the dumps are located near existing, natural bumps and lumps in the forest. Some no longer smell and are sun-bleached, while others give off a rancid smell, are dark in colour and have bugs swirling around them.

 

WEYMOUTH, NS – Thousands of lobster carcasses were found freshly dumped in various areas in and around Weymouth September 15 as fishermen continued demonstrating outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.


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 The right to fish is protected under the Donald Marshall case, which reached the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999. The court found that alongside existing special licenses available to First Nations communities (food, social and ceremonial: and commercial) there is a third allowance that dates back to the treaties of the 1760s. Today, it’s called “moderate livelihood.” 


“In the Marshall case it included the right to have sufficient income to provide food, clothing, shelter and basic amenities,” Wildsmith says. “Something like [an] average income for a Nova Scotian.” 

But despite 18 years of on-and-off negotiations, the federal government has yet to produce an agreed-upon policy.

“People are tired of waiting,” Wildsmith says, “and you can’t blame them, after this length of time.” 

Under current “food, shelter and ceremonial” regulations, lobster fishing is permitted but selling isn’t. That’s where the protests come in. Demonstrators in Digby allege the Indigenous fishers are illegally selling their catch. 

The DFO seems to agree. Morley Knight, assistant deputy minister, told a lobster forum last month in Yarmouth there are “clear indications” of illegal sales happening.

Speaking off-the-record, one fisheries source agrees there may be a few “bad apples,” but the lion’s share amongst First Nations communities are “just trying to survive.” 

According to Wildsmith, there’s a real sense that all of the uproar is being fueled by the DFO’s continued labelling of the practice as illegal, instead of finally offering a “moderate income” license option. Despite bordering on two decades of negotiations, the DFO is still urging patience.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to engage, in good faith, with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs among others on the implementation of historic treaties, and it is through these and other processes that rights-related issues in the fisheries are being addressed,” reads a statement released from the department. 

“In the meantime, we expect all harvesters to continue to abide by the rules set out for an orderly, safe and sustainable fishery.”

That puts Mi’kmaw fishers in a tough spot, argues Wildsmith. 
Indigenous lobster fishers have to generate the money to purchase fishing gear, boats, fuel and equipment, all without ever selling their catch. 

“All those costs, you’re supposed to absorb, just to get some food?” 

Meanwhile, with no immediate resolution on the horizon, the pressure escalates. Without movement from the government, Wildsmith says, the situation can’t improve.

The right to fish is protected under the Donald Marshall case, which reached the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999. The court found that alongside existing special licenses available to First Nations communities (food, social and ceremonial: and commercial) there is a third allowance that dates back to the treaties of the 1760s. Today, it’s called “moderate livelihood.” 


“In the Marshall case it included the right to have sufficient income to provide food, clothing, shelter and basic amenities,” Wildsmith says. “Something like [an] average income for a Nova Scotian.” 

But despite 18 years of on-and-off negotiations, the federal government has yet to produce an agreed-upon policy.

“People are tired of waiting,” Wildsmith says, “and you can’t blame them, after this length of time.” 

Under current “food, shelter and ceremonial” regulations, lobster fishing is permitted but selling isn’t. That’s where the protests come in. Demonstrators in Digby allege the Indigenous fishers are illegally selling their catch. 

The DFO seems to agree. Morley Knight, assistant deputy minister, told a lobster forum last month in Yarmouth there are “clear indications” of illegal sales happening.

Speaking off-the-record, one fisheries source agrees there may be a few “bad apples,” but the lion’s share amongst First Nations communities are “just trying to survive.” 

According to Wildsmith, there’s a real sense that all of the uproar is being fueled by the DFO’s continued labelling of the practice as illegal, instead of finally offering a “moderate income” license option. Despite bordering on two decades of negotiations, the DFO is still urging patience.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to engage, in good faith, with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs among others on the implementation of historic treaties, and it is through these and other processes that rights-related issues in the fisheries are being addressed,” reads a statement released from the department. 

“In the meantime, we expect all harvesters to continue to abide by the rules set out for an orderly, safe and sustainable fishery.”

That puts Mi’kmaw fishers in a tough spot, argues Wildsmith. 
Indigenous lobster fishers have to generate the money to purchase fishing gear, boats, fuel and equipment, all without ever selling their catch. 

“All those costs, you’re supposed to absorb, just to get some food?” 

Meanwhile, with no immediate resolution on the horizon, the pressure escalates. Without movement from the government, Wildsmith says, the situation can’t improve.

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/nova-scotia-lobster-wars-fishing-industry/article36593875/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links

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