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DFO says it has enough resources to monitor Indigenous lobster fishing in Nova Scotia – CBC

Jul 11, 2023

Pledge comes in wake of illegal catches of baby eels by Indigenous and non-Indigenous harvesters

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) says its enforcement branch will be on the water and adequately equipped to monitor compliance of First Nations lobster fisheries this summer.

The pledge follows the chaotic fishery for baby eels this spring where there was widespread illegal activity by some Indigenous and non-Indigenous harvesters.

DFO shut down the legal elver fishery, affecting both commercial licence holders and Indigenous groups with fishing plans approved by the department. But “poaching” — as federal Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray called it — continued.

“I want to clarify they are two very different fisheries,” Maritimes region director of conservation and protection Tim Kerr told reporters Monday in a briefing on Indigenous rights-based lobster fisheries.

Kerr said lobstering is conducted “out on the water” with the catch taken to shore. Elvers, or baby eels, are caught in the middle of the night on numerous rivers through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

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