First Nation in New Brunswick demands DFO allow access to crab fishery

The chief of the Eel Ground First Nation in northeastern New Brunswick is calling on the federal government to honour treaty rights and allow access to the snow crab fishery.

Chief George Ginnish says the community, also known as Natoaganeg, has been waiting for 20 years to exercise their moderate livelihood rights.

He says the band council authorized a treaty fishery for snow crab, but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has seized their traps.

A spokesman for the department says the government is committed to renewing its relationship with Indigenous Peoples and moving forward "in a spirit of respect and reconciliation.''

However, Barre Campbell adds in a statement that the department needs to ensure compliance with the Fisheries Act and its regulations.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations says Ottawa must immediately stop seizing traps and work with the people of Eel Ground.