Sipekne’katik open lobster fishery over DFO objections

The Sipekne’katik opened their food and ceremonial fishery earlier this week.

Each member of the community, comprised of 13 First Nations in Nova Scotia, can catch up to 40 marketable lobsters per trap per day.

That’s according to the Sipekne’katik management plan and not Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) regulations.

Fisheries officers were keeping an eye on lobster fisher Sheyanne Francis from near the Saulnierville Wharf.

Francis says she considers that harassment.

“When the non-natives are fishing, I don’t see them sitting at the wharf and boarding all their boats,” she said. “When they’re not, they don’t have permission to.”

The Sipekne’katik catch is used for food, social and ceremonial purposes and cannot be sold.

Francis says her catch will provide enough food for a feast, and feed her crew and community members.

She expects DFO to haul up her lobster traps since she’s not following their rules.

But she says she won’t stop harvesting.

“Like I say, ‘You can’t stop us.’ We’re just going to keep going.”

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