The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has renewed interim moderate livelihood deals with four Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw First Nations in Nova Scotia.
In a release Friday, the DFO said that it has an "understanding" with the Acadia, Annapolis Valley, Bear River and Glooscap First Nations to fish a total of 3,500 traps during the 2022-2023 commercial season in the most lucrative lobster fishing areas (LFAs) in Canada.
The understanding will see members sell their catch under community-developed Kespukwirk (the southwest Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw district) Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plans and a DFO issued harvest document.
It will put indigenous harvesters on the water during the commercial season in LFAs 33, 34 and 35.
LFA 35 opened earlier this month and will run until the end of the year. It also has a five-month opening in 2023. The other two open Nov. 28 and run until the end of May 2023.
The livelihood fishing effort represents a fraction of the traps fished by the commercial fleets in southwest Nova Scotia where there are 714 licensed harvesters in LFA 33 and 979 in LFA 34. Each is entitled to fish 375 traps.
The department says the plans implement fishing rights while ensuring conservation and sustainability of stocks under transparent and predictable management.
"This renewed interim understanding by First Nations and Fisheries and Oceans Canada shows continued progress in implementing the Treaty Right to fish for a moderate livelihood," Minister Joyce Murray said in a release.
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