Interim understanding reached that will see Bear River and Annapolis Valley First Nations members fishing in pursuit of a moderate livelihood
The Government of Canada is committed to renewing its relationship with Indigenous peoples. To this end, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) continues to work with First Nations across the Maritimes and the Gaspé region of Quebec on the ongoing implementation of their Treaty right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood while maintaining a sustainable fishery for all harvesters.
Building on the success of a previous understanding reached with Potlotek First Nation, DFO has reached an interim understanding that will see Bear River and Annapolis Valley First Nations members fishing lobster in pursuit of a moderate livelihood during the established seasons in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) 33, 34 and 35. LFA 35 opens Thursday (Oct. 14) and LFAs 33 and 34 open November 29. This interim understanding with two Mi’kmaw communities in or adjacent to the Kespukwitk District will operationalize the Kespukwitk Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Management Plan and permit the sale of lobster.
Bear River and Annapolis Valley First Nations will designate members from their communities who are authorized to harvest under the Kespukwitk Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Management Plan for lobster, which they jointly developed. Acadia and Glooscap First Nations also participated in the development of this Management Plan and may request their communities take part in fishing this season under this understanding at a later date.
“This understanding will see Bear River and Annapolis Valley First Nations fishing in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. It respects the vision and needs of each community, aligns with DFO’s regulatory framework, and will ensure a sustainable, stable fishery for all. This is a positive step forward, and one that we are proud to take in partnership.” The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
In acknowledging that this is an interim measure, the department is committed to continuing consultations with First Nations to further implement their rights-based fisheries and provide for stable, predictable, and sustainable fishing for all harvesters.
- Kespukwitk is one of the seven Mi’kmaq districts in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, and corresponds to Southwest Nova Scotia.
- Fishing has been authorized, and can take place once the DFO-established season opens in each respective LFA. Accordingly, fishing in LFA 35 may begin on October 14, 2021.
- LFA 33 dates: November 29, 2021 – May 31, 2022
- LFA 34 dates: November 29, 2021 – May 31, 2022
- LFA 35 dates: October 14, 2021 – December 31, 2021 and February 28, 2022 – July 31, 2022
- Fishing is authorized to continue until the end of the established season in each respective LFA. These start dates may change slightly, due to poor weather.
- DFO will recognize those harvesters designated under the Kespukwitk Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Management Plan to be authorized to fish up to 3,500 jakej (lobster) traps (up to 70 per harvester) during the established seasons in LFAs 33, 34, and 35 – which surround the traditional Kespukwitk District.
- The interim implementation of the Kespukwitk Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Management Plan will not increase fishing effort in these LFAs.