SAULNIERVILLE, N.S. — The federal Fisheries Department says its officers have seized 70 lobster traps in an area of southwestern Nova Scotia where fishers from the Sipekne’katik First Nation have been operating a self-regulated fishery.
The news comes after Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack was arrested and questioned Monday by fisheries officers after his community started fishing for lobster ahead of the start to the federally regulated season.
Sipekne’katik members say a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision that affirmed their treaty right to fish allows them to harvest lobster when and where they want.
Department spokesperson Debbie Buott-Matheson did not confirm today whether any of the 70 traps seized over the past week belong to fishers from the First Nation.
She says federal officers pulled traps for a variety of reasons, including for improper and unauthorized tags.
Sack was not available for comment today and has said Ottawa's treatment of his community's fishers amounts to systemic racism.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press