Pictou Landing First Nation to pursue spring moderate livelihood lobster fishery
April 29, 2022
Moncton, New Brunswick - The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is actively working with First Nations across the Maritime provinces and the Gaspé region of Québec to further implement their Treaty right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood while maintaining healthy fisheries for all harvesters for generations to come.
Today, the Government of Canada joined Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia in announcing that its members will be fishing jakej, the Mi’kmaq word for lobster, in pursuit of a moderate livelihood under the community’s Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plan, supported by a Fisheries Act authorization, during the spring 2022 commercial season.
Pictou Landing First Nation will designate community members to harvest and sell jakej (lobster) fished from waters known as Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 26A, in their traditional fishing territory. Moderate livelihood fishing is authorized to begin and end at the same time as the commercial fishing season in LFA 26A.
With this announcement, Pictou Landing First Nation joins Acadia, Bear River, Annapolis Valley and Potlotek First Nations who have previously developed understandings with DFO whereby they are exercising their rights through moderate livelihood fishing plans.
“Indigenous reconciliation is a high priority for me and for our government. This understanding with Pictou Landing First Nation to commence a moderate livelihood fishery this spring marks a significant step toward improving relations with First Nations communities and implementing Treaty rights. The Pictou Landing First Nation, my Department and the Government of Canada all have similar goals of conservation, peace, safety and economic benefit. Congratulations to all who worked to make this happen.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“I’m pleased to see the discussions are ongoing between Pictou Landing First Nation and the federal government. This understanding recognizes the right of the community to fish for a moderate livelihood while ensuring conservation of the species that helps sustain our local economy. As the lobster season is set to begin in the coming days, I wish all harvesters, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, a safe and successful season on the water.”
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada
Pictou Landing First Nation will fish up to 900 traps under its Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plan. The department has taken steps to ensure that this fishing plan does not represent increased fishing effort in the LFA. As part of the plan, designated harvesters must use traps which are clearly marked with a tag issued by the First Nation. Tags are not transferable and the harvester who was issued the tags must be on the vessel. Management measures will be similar to the commercial lobster fishery, including traps standards and minimum carapace size, Species at Risk Act requirements, and marine mammal protection measures such as gear marking.
Pictou Landing First Nation’s spring season dates will mirror DFO’s LFA 26A opening and closure dates.
Lobster stocks in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence are healthy.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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