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DFO outlines implementation of Indigenous fisheries – Penticton Herald

by ahnationtalk on July 19, 2023107 Views

July 19, 2023

One of the most lucrative fisheries in Atlantic Canada – the elver [baby eel] fishery, which garners up to $5,000 per kilogram – was closed this past spring due to concerns about conservation and safety caused by poaching.

In a fisheries management order prohibiting the fishing of elvers issued on April 15, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Minister Joyce Murray, stated, “Conflict on the water between harvesters has escalated to threats of violence and the safety of harvesters is at risk, which constitutes a threat to the proper management and control of the fishery.”

Last week, DFO held a press conference detailing the implementation of Indigenous lobster fisheries; the moderate livelihood and the food, social and ceremonial (FSC) fisheries, both of which are practiced in Chedabucto Bay. In light of the recent difficulty policing the elver fishery, The Journal asked if the department had the budget and bodies to effectively enforce these new fisheries.

Tim Kerr, DFO director of Conservation and Protection (CNP), Maritimes Region, replied, “They [elver and lobster] are two very different fisheries in the way they are executed… the lobster fisheries are conducted out on the water, with individuals out on lobster boats…whereas the elver fishery is done in a different circumstance, in rivers of which there are many across the province [Nova Scotia] and New Brunswick. So, a very different enforcement scenario.”

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