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Photo courtesy from CBC News

Lennox Island, DFO reach 'interim understanding' on lobster treaty fishery

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by CBC News

The treaty fishery will proceed based on a total maximum of 1,000 traps, according to a release

P.E.I.'s Lennox Island First Nation says it has reached an interim understanding with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to continue the lobster treaty fishery that launched earlier this month.

The fishery hadn't been authorized by DFO before it launched on May 7, which meant it could have been subject to enforcement including trap seizures or fines.

"We have continued discussions with DFO in the hopes of reaching some kind of understanding that would see our community members able to exercise our treaty right to fish and harvest lobster, while respecting conservation and sustainability," Chief Darlene Bernard said in a written release.

"I have always remained positive that we could reach an understanding and I'm happy to receive DFO's support for our management plan which will ensure the safety and security of our members while on the water and of their gear and equipment which is very important to us."

None of the traps set out over the weekend were seized or disturbed by fisheries officers, but some treaty fishers told CBC News they had had trouble launching boats because local boat-moving companies said non-Indigenous fishermen had threatened to boycott them.

'Good news for our community'

CBC News spoke with a handful of non-Indigenous fishermen, none of whom would agree to a taped interview, earlier this week. 

Photo courtesy from CBC News

Crews on three boats said fishing without a licence has the potential to damage lobster stocks, and suggested some commercial fishermen might choose to take action if DFO didn't which is what happened last year in Nova Scotia.

According to the release, there is no signed agreement in place but the understanding between Lennox Island First Nation and DFO will allow the treaty-protected fishery to proceed unimpeded in accordance with the Band management plans. (continues...)

Source: CBC News / Read the full article by clickingthe link here

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