We're exercising the right to self-govern our fisheries: Sipekne’katik chief
HALIFAX - The leader of a Cape Breton First Nation says his community is planning a self-regulated lobster fishery similar to the one on the province's southwestern shore that has sparked fierce opposition from non-Indigenous harvesters.
Chief Terry Paul, who is seeking re-election as leader of Membertou, says in an online video posted Monday that his band is preparing to launch a moderate livelihood fishery.
He doesn't provide a specific date but says it will be soon.
In southwestern Nova Scotia, additional RCMP were recently deployed to respond to the at-times violent dispute that began last month when the Sipekne'katik First Nation launched a small-scale commercial fishery outside of the federally designated season.
The Indigenous fishers have had traps removed from the water, a fishing boat and a van have been burned, and on Saturday, fire destroyed a lobster pound that stored the catch of Mi'kmaq fishers.
Some non-Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia have staged protests to highlight the fact that even though the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the treaty right to fish for a moderate livelihood in 1999, the court also said the Fisheries Department retains the right to regulate for conservation purposes.