Renewal of interim understanding that will see Acadia, Annapolis Valley, Bear River and Glooscap First Nation members fishing in pursuit of a moderate livelihood
From: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – The Government of Canada continues to engage with Indigenous communities to further implement the Supreme Court of Canada Marshall decisions, which affirmed the Treaty right of First Nations in Atlantic Canada and Quebec to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. Increasing First Nations participation in commercial fisheries is key to advancing the implementation of the Treaty right.
To progress this work, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has a renewed interim understanding with Acadia, Annapolis Valley, Bear River and Glooscap First Nations that will see their members fishing jakej (lobster) in pursuit of a moderate livelihood and selling their catch under their community-developed Kespukwitk Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plan and a DFO-issued Harvest Document. Harvesters designated by their communities will exercise their Treaty rights by fishing a total of 3,500 traps in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) 33, 34, and 35 during the established commercial season in the most lucrative LFAs in Canada.
This renewed interim understanding shows progress in the collaboration between DFO and First Nations to implement their moderate livelihood fishing plans within the established season and under a DFO-issued Harvest Document. The moderate livelihood fishing plans include implementing fishing rights while also ensuring conservation, safety, and orderly fishing.
DFO looks forward to this continued work in partnership with First Nations to increase Indigenous participation in commercial fisheries and support economic opportunities for members of their communities while ensuring conservation and sustainability of stocks under transparent and predictable management.
“This renewed interim understanding by First Nations and Fisheries and Oceans Canada shows continued progress in implementing the Treaty right to fish for a moderate livelihood and supports members of Acadia, Annapolis Valley, Bear River and Glooscap First Nations to fish lobster under their community-developed fishing plan again this season. We share the same goals of conservation and economic benefit. I wish all harvesters a safe and prosperous season.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- Kespukwitk is one of the seven Mi’kmaw districts in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, and corresponds to Southwest Nova Scotia.
- Fishing is authorized by the Minister to take place within the DFO-established season and according to licence conditions. Season dates are:
- LFA 33 dates: November 28, 2022 – May 31, 2023
- LFA 34 dates: November 28, 2022 – May 31, 2023
- LFA 35 dates: October 14, 2022 – December 31, 2022 and February 28, 2023 – July 31, 2023
- Fishing may continue until the end of the established season in each respective LFA. These start dates may change slightly, due to poor weather.
- DFO will recognize those harvesters designated under the Kespukwitk Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Management Plan to fish a total of 3,500 traps during the established seasons in LFAs 33, 34, and 35, which surround the traditional Kespukwitk District. These traps will be fished in a distributed manner across LFAs 33, 34 and 35, with a limit of 1,000 traps in LFA 35.
- Interference by any person with any fishery is illegal, and may result in a fine of up to $100,000 for violations of the Fisheries Act.
- The interim implementation of the Kespukwitk Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Management Plan will not increase fishing effort in these LFAs, where lobster stocks are in the healthy zone.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada