Lobster protests: Nova Scotia MP demands immediate action from Ottawa

news-update

A Nova Scotia MP is demanding Ottawa step in to quell rising anger among lobster fishermen who are accusing Indigenous fishermen of illegally trapping and selling lobster out of season.

Chris d'Entremont, the Conservative MP for West Nova, has written a letter to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, saying he is worried about the safety of his constituents.

On Tuesday, hundreds of non-Indigenous commercial fishermen staged protests at two wharfs in southwestern Nova Scotia, alleging illegal fishing in St. Marys Bay.

They say a communal First Nations lobster fishery is being used as cover for an illegal commercial fishery, and they are demanding a crackdown on those selling lobster out of season.

D'Entremont says the protests are the result of Jordan's failure to take action on an issue that has been a source of friction in the Maritimes for more than 20 years.

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs has cited a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision affirming the constitutional right of First Nations to earn a moderate livelihood from fishing, saying Ottawa has yet to establish regulations for a moderate livelihood fishery.