Bigger Mi’kmaw lobster fishery possible because DFO redistributed unused licences – CBC
May 19, 2023
Federal department increases trap allotment from 1,600 to 4,600 during Cape Breton’s spring lobster season
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has worked with commercial fishers to significantly increase Mi’kmaw access to the lobster fishery around Cape Breton this spring.
Mike Leonard, director of Indigenous fisheries management for DFO’s Maritimes region, said the federal department has bought back lobster licences over the years as commercial fishers voluntarily relinquished them, creating a bank of licences that Indigenous communities can access.
That process has allowed Eskasoni to join two other First Nations in the moderate livelihood fishery during this spring’s season without affecting the health of the lobster stocks, he said.
“In the first year, in 2021, we worked with Potlotek First Nation and then last year We’koqma’q First Nation joined as well and this year it’s become an Unama’ki approach, so across the Unama’ki traditional territory, which aligns with Cape Breton,” Leonard said.
Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dfo-significantly-increases-mi-kmaw-moderate-livelihhod-fishery-1.6848292