N.S. Mi'kmaq chiefs demand stop of alleged federal plans to seize lobster traps

news-update

A group of Nova Scotia Indigenous leaders has levelled harassment allegations at the federal government over an ongoing moderate livelihood fishery dispute, accusing the department responsible for fisheries of planning to seize gear from lobster trappers in the province.
    
The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs issued a statement on Friday saying they'd learned of unspecified plans from the conservation and protection department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, but did not disclose the source of their information.
    
The chiefs alleged department members may be planning to seize gear and traps belonging to fishers exercising what they describe as a protected right to earn a moderate livelihood from their efforts.
    
A departmental spokeswoman declined to comment on their specific allegations, but said federal officials are not necessarily aware of all actions taken by local staff.
    
"The Assembly condemns this action and demands all planned action related to seizure is aborted,'' the chiefs said in a statement. "The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized the Mi'kmaq Right to fish for a moderate livelihood.''
    
A dispute over moderate livelihood fisheries has grown increasingly tense in recent weeks, with multiple violent clashes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers taking place throughout October.
    
(With files from Danielle Edwards/The Canadian Press)