nova scotia lobster dispute

The dispute over lobster fishing in Nova Scotia is now totally out of control

While the dispute over lobster fishing in Nova Scotia has been ongoing for some time, things got completely out of control after non-Indigenous fishermen trapped two Mi'kmaw fishermen inside a lobster pound and burned their van. 

The incident took place on Tuesday night after an angry crowd headed to the lobster pound, located in southwestern Nova Scotia, to seize lobsters caught by Mi'kmaw lobster harvesters and release them back into St. Mary's Bay. 

However, after two Indigenous fishermen arrived to protect their property, they were allegedly assaulted with rocks and other debris.

When the two fishermen took cover inside the lobster pound, more than 100 other non-Indigenous fishermen continued to throw rocks through the windows and attempted to kick the doors down. 

"When I got here and I wasn't here for more than ten minutes and they were out there just going wild," Jason Marr, one of the Mi'kmaw fishermen told Ku'ku'kwes News.

According to Marr, he was told by RCMP that if he handed over the lobster, the non-Indigenous fishermen would let him leave the pound. Marr and the other Mi'kmaw fisherman were eventually escorted off the property by RCMP without the lobsters. 

A group of non-Indigenous fishermen also set fire to Marr's van, all of which was caught on video and shared on social media. 

"I am very proud of our people for not engaging. I do not expect us to sit back and keep being bullied with these acts of terrorism," said Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Michael Sack in a Facebook post, calling the actions of the non-Indigenous fishermen hate crimes. 

Earlier in the day, a rally was held by commercial fishermen in Digby, Nova Scotia.

They called for a pause on all out-of-season fishing by First Nations and an audit of commercial licenses given to bands following the 1999 Marshall decision that recognizes their right to fish for a moderate livelihood.

Last month, the Sipekne'katik band launched its own moderate livelihood lobster fishery near St. Mary's Bay without authorization from the Department of Fisheries and Ocean, claiming they were exercising a treaty right recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada 21 years ago. 

Lead photo by

Angel Moore

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