A third Mi’kmaw community has launched a moderate livelihood lobster fishery in Nova Scotia.
Chief Andrea Paul of the Pictou Landing First Nation made the announcement on social media Wednesday, posing with council members in a photo as she handed new tags to a fisherman.
The First Nation, which sits on the north shore of Nova Scotia on the Northumberland Strait, has also posted its full fisheries management plan online as well as a policy and protocols document.
Launched our Netuklimk Livelihood Fisheries today in PLFN. 🦞✊🏽 Derekji’j was the first one to show up to pick up his tags. 😁 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/anendtopoverty?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#anendtopoverty</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Marshall?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Marshall</a> #1760 1761 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/respect?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#respect</a> our <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/right?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#right</a> <a href=”https://t.co/5K12yGoqts”>pic.twitter.com/5K12yGoqts</a>
Community members are licensed to operate in lobster fishing areas (LFAs) 26A and 26B within the Gulf of St. Lawrence region, with a maximum of 30 traps per individual.
There are no details in the plan on how many licences will be distributed, but it states that fishing and harvest conservation practices will be determined by the band council “based on community, science and co-management recommendations.”
The plan also states all livelihood fishing will be closed “during summer lunar cycles when lobsters molt in coastal waters.” During this time, all harvesters must remove all lobster traps from the water.
The fishery will close from Dec. 14 to May 1, 2021, or the opening day of the commercial season.
The commercial season in these areas opens April 30 and closes June 30 with the exception of two small sections that open in May and end in July, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Other livelihood fisheries
The Sipekne’katik First Nation was the first to launch a moderate livelihood fishery two months ago.
The fishery, on Nova Scotia’s southwest coast in St. Marys Bay, has faced tense and sometimes violent opposition by non-Indigenous commercial fishermen, many of whom argue the fishery will hurt lobster stocks if it falls outside of the federally regulated season.
On Oct.1, the Potlotek First Nation in Cape Breton launched a rights-based livelihood lobster fishery under its own management plan. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans confiscated more than 150 of the band’s traps nearly two weeks ago.
Chief Terry Paul of the Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton has also said his community is planning its own livelihood lobster fishery, but did not offer a timeline.
The Mi’kmaq say they are going ahead on their own because it’s been 21 years since the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Donald Marshall Jr., which affirmed their right to earn a moderate livelihood from fishing.