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.

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