Alleged illegal lobster sales draw protesters to fisheries office
Several dozen lobster fishermen gathered outside a federal Fisheries office in southwestern Nova Scotia on Monday to continue their protest over what they say is an illegal Indigenous commercial fishery.
Bernie Berry of the Coldwater Lobster Association said about 50 protesters were in Digby to keep pressure on Fisheries officials to enforce regulations concerning the sale of lobster caught outside the regular season by Indigenous fishermen.
The protesters say some Indigenous fishermen are taking unfair advantage of their right to continue fishing outside of the regular commercial season, which ended May 31.
In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark ruling — the Sparrow decision — that found Indigenous Peoples have the right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes.
However, federal regulations clearly state that commercial sales from these fisheries are prohibited.
David Whorley, area director for the Fisheries Department, says officials are enforcing the regulations, adding that investigators are also looking into the discovery of about a dozen sites where lobster have been dumped.