Three lifelong friends have established a trade route to bring Mi’kmaw caught lobster to the American market.
Called Five Tribes Seafoods, Derek Sock and Nolan Augustine of Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick say they formed the company so Mi’kmaw harvesters can get a better price for their catch.
Sock says Mi’kmaw lobster harvesters are paid less for their catch.
“You know we fish for over 20 years and we’ve seen it like the non-native fishermen will get a much better deal than us,” says Sock.
Five Tribes Seafoods is named after Wabanaki Confederacy: the Mi’kmaw, Wolastoq, Peskotomuhkati, Penobscot and Abenaki Nations.
It will transport moderate livelihood lobster from the ocean to the table.
“I think we have to cater to our brothers and sisters and we have to try to keep it in-house so to speak from the beginning to the end,” said Augustine.
Augustine said the company has already had one successful run.
A couple of weeks ago it transported about 1,500 lobsters from Nova Scotia to Brooklyn, New York.
Sock and Augustine’s family friend Brian Stevenson from Philadelphia, connected Five Tribes Seafoods to American food distributor, the Brooklyn Lobster Company.
“Seems history that they kind of isolated Mi’kmaw fishermen not just from Canadian and U.S. markets, but international markets and that’s what we’re striving for, to alleviate, alleviate that,” said Stevenson.
The friends said they’re hoping to ship about 2,300 kg of lobster a day to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.
“Well this operation is like more like a mom and pop operation and it’s catering to the United States mom and pop and they’re bigger momma and poppa’s over there,” said Sock.