Letters to the Editor 8 results

Former Fishery Officer Reflects on Current Lobster Dispute

Rewind to the years 1999 and 2000. After the Supreme Court of Canada’s Marshall I and II decisions in September and November 1999, the Canadian Government spent nearly $600 million buying back commercial fishing licences from commercial fishermen and turning them over to First Nations along with boats, fishing gear and training. At the time, this was supposed to integrate native communities into the commercial fisheries and satisfy the moderate livelihood requirements in the Supreme ...

We Are All Treaty People

Sierra Club Calls on Canada to Uphold Peace and Friendship Treaties and Mi’kmaq Right to Fish   The Sierra Club Canada Foundation condemns the racism that Indigenous people are experiencing as they practice their right to fish in Nova Scotia and stands in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. Sierra Club calls on the Government of Canada to act immediately to uphold its obligations under the Peace and Friendship Treaties and recognized by the ...

All Stakeholders Must be at Table to Resolve Lobster Dispute

We have spent generations being the steward of this resource, protecting it through conservation measures and building the industry. Three generations of my family have lived through poverty and winters, where a moderate livelihood was simply being able to borrow enough money to survive. Years ago, anyone could get into the fishing industry if they wanted to. But no one wanted to be a poor fisherman. My grandfather’s gear cost 25 cents and he toiled long and hard for next to nothing for ...

Navigating Troubled Waters

The current situation in Southwest Nova Scotia is very troubling. But by the same token, it is entirely predictable. Two groups are in dispute and each takes guidance from the two Marshall Decisions. The Indigenous fishermen naturally take the broad and general recognition of a right to fish commercially for a “moderate income” and the commercial fishermen rely on the follow-up “clarification” to the initial decision which stipulates that the right is not unlimited and is a ...

‘There Are More Guts in a Turnip Than There are in Us’

On July 13, 2020, my neighbour and l went fishing for cod in the recreational food fishery. We didn’t go fishing very early in my opinion, it was 6:30 a.m. As we cleared the last point and the open ocean came into view, it was like a television show I watched years ago where an Indigenous person named Moses would look over an empty place and call it the big empty. That’s what it looked like this morning. Imagine a fishing town like Twillingate in the heart of fishing time and only one ...

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

In an April 2020 press release, Karen Dwyer, cod research Scientist, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) stated that “survey indices suggest that recently observed stock growth (C2012-2016) may have stalled ecosystems conditions, indicating limited productivity and reduced food availability limiting the growth of cod.” Dwyer said on CBC’s The Broadcast, that cod have turned to cannibalism (eating their own) because of a lack of food, mainly capelin. When asked by host Jane Adey ...

Seals, Seals Everywhere

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has a responsibility to protect and manage the common fish resource in Canada. So far, in my opinion, the only things it has managed are the fish harvesters because you can’t manage fish unless you manage the predators of fish. DFO has not managed predators like seals and here we are with our fish resources in crisis. We have between 12 to 15 million seals and the fish total allowable catches (TACs) are just not enough to have a prosperous ...

A Way Must be Found to Reach Out to N.L. Inshore Harvesters

Near the end of FISH-NL’s three-year battle with the FFAW-Unifor, a senior reporter with the local CBC took exception on Twitter to being tagged to a particular clash between the two unions and asked to be left out of the “spat.” The fact the respected journalist (one-time host of the CBC’s Fisheries Broadcast) easily dismissed so much long-standing labour unrest in the fishery as a petty tiff was an insult to the thousands of fishermen/women who signed FISH-NL cards. To me, too, ...