Officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) are punching holes in the tails of lobsters to track them and to ensure they’re not being sold illegally.
But Mi’kmaw harvesters says the pilot project is killing the crustacean and making them unsafe to eat.
“Some of the lobsters that they are punching, they are just so weak that they don’t even make it back to our communities, they are dead when we bring them back,” says Justin Johnson of Sipkne’katik First Nation.
Lobsters release toxins when they die and aren’t safe to be eaten.
DFO told APTN News that it’s not aware of any evidence indicating that physical marking of lobster tails jeopardized the health of the lobster.
Sipkne’katik fishers are preparing to launch their commercial fishery Friday.