SAULNIERVILLE, N.S.: Nova Scotia’s Sipekne’katik First Nation says it is expanding its self-regulated lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay.
The band is to make the announcement later today at the Saulnierville Wharf in Digby County, N.S., in the province’s southwest.
Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has said the First Nation’s unauthorized fishery is concerning and her department will enforce the Fisheries Act.
Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack has said his band, located 65 kilometres north of Halifax, will issue fishers with so-called “treaty fishery” licences for boats operating in southwestern Nova Scotia.
Last September, the band launched a self-regulated lobster fishery outside the federally regulated season, which led to violence and the burning of a lobster pound that stored Indigenous catch.
A 1999 Supreme Court decision allows Indigenous communities to fish for a moderate livelihood, though the court later clarified that Ottawa could regulate the treaty right for conservation and other limited purposes.
The Sipekne’katik band says it is no longer using the term “moderate livelihood fishery,” preferring “treaty fishery” instead.